"Every Building In The Area Is Being Turned Into Student Accommodation"

Writing in the Nottingham Post on Friday 13 August 2021, Joshua Hartley reported that Nottingham City Council's Planning Committee are being recommended to approve a planning application for a 13-storey, 629 bed student accommodation building to replace the vacant former Royal Mail sorting office on Bath Street, Sneinton. Members of the Victoria Park Tenants & Residents' Association say it will overshadow St Mary's Rest Garden and add to the number of students already in the area.

13 storey block of flats could replace Bendigo building

The new block would have 692 student bed spaces

Planning permission has been recommended to be granted for what was once dubbed 'Nottingham's ugliest building' to be demolished and turned into a 13 storey student accommodation block.

The application by Godwin Developments for the Bath Street property be voted by the planning committee on August 18.

It would provide a total of 692 student bed spaces in a mix of studios and 4-6 bedroom flats.

The Bendigo building, formerly a Royal Mail sorting office, has been vacant for many years.

There would also be secured vehicle and pedestrian entrances onto Brook Street, with access to the proposed 6 car parking spaces, 312 secure cycle parking spaces, bin stores, plant rooms and substations. 

St Mary’s Rest Garden and Victoria Hall student accommodation neighbour the new development.

Many residents were happy at prospect of the old building being demolished, but disappointed that more student accommodation would replace it.

Owen Roberts, 30, who works in marketing, said: "Every building in the area is being turned into student accommodation.

"Surely there is a better use for a building that big.

"I'd like it to have been replaced by a lot of little shops or places where people can work.

Thomas Brown, 50, who works in private security, said: "I'll be very glad when it's gone it looks like an old Soviet set of flats.

"I'd rather it was not a student place but I'd rather it be used by someone."

Hospitality worker Raf Barron, 39, said: "It makes it hard for families like mine to find places to live, I remember checking places and finding they were only for students over and over again.

"I'd prefer if it was a community space like a hub for entrepreneurs or something that adds to this area more than just the number of students.

"Of course we want the students but they are only here for a certain period of time, we don't want this area to be a ghost town when they leave every year."

Overlooking St Mary's Rest Garden, the Bendigo Building is named after 19th Century St Ann's champion boxer William 'Bendigo' Thompson, who went undefeated in 23 fights during his career which spanned from 1825 until 1850.

Matt Anderson, who is head of the Victoria Park Tenants & Resident’s Association, thought that there were a number of issues with the planning permission being granted.

He said: "It will overshadow the Rest Garden and it increases the number of students in the area.

"It will box in the lower areas and the size of it is a real problem, because it will set a precedent for other abandoned buildings - like the Bowman building - to be replaced with huge towering blocks for students.

"St Ann's is one of the most deprived areas in the country and anything that affects the park where people have been able to have a break from the pandemic, it will be ghettoised if we're not careful about the balance.

"The council is always letting these student projects based on their and the universities figures, no one has voted for this constant building of student accommodation.

"Also no know has brought up that the roads around the building are used by the emergency services as rat runs so the extra traffic from this building could be really problematic."

13 storey block of flats could replace Bendigo building - Nottinghamshire Live