PROPOSAL FOR STUDENT FLATS ON THE HIGH ROAD RAISE FEARS OF STUDENT HOUSING TAKEOVER IN BEESTON
On Tuesday 16 March 2021, Jamie Barlow, Digital News Correspondent of the Nottingham Post, reported that a project to demolish existing buildings on the corner of Beeston High Road and Malborough Road and replace them with a four-storey 54-apartment student block is raising concerns with residents that student housing is 'taking over' Beeston.
Fears student developments are 'taking over' Beeston as plans for new flats revealed
A new proposal would lead to a former shop being demolished
Fears that student housing is 'taking over' Beeston were raised as a proposal to create a block of flats close to the town centre was submitted.
The latest project is earmarked for the corner of High Road and Marlborough Road and includes the demolition of a former carpet shop.
The demolition would make way for a four-storey block with 54 apartments but the plan has been met with concern among some residents.
Retired cleaner Carol Churchill, 73, who lives in Beeston, said: “There are enough student places here, they are taking over the place, every building.
"It’s just a shame - there will be nothing left soon.
“I think we could do with a decent shop - Wilko, that is too small and B&M is too small.”
While he wasn't against the project, Michael Hallett, 78, a retired Players worker, of Wollaton, said: “It's as long as they behave themselves.
"You can’t always say that, you don’t want house parties and everything and music going on until 2 or 3 in the morning.
"They get a lot of that Lenton way.”
It comes after neighbours spoke out about proposals for a new 'student village', as separate developers tabled a plan to convert the former Nottingham College campus in High Road, Chilwell, into a new student accommodation complex.
Speaking about the latest plans for the former carpet business site, Rhidian Jones, 44, who lives in Beeston, said it would be a shame for a "pretty building" to be redeveloped into "another faceless block of student flats".
“I can’t really imagine there’s a shortage of those kind of developments really," he said.
“I'm just wondering if it’s absolutely necessary. There’s quite a bit of student accommodation about.”
Asked about what he'd like to see instead, he said: "I would like to think it would be something that would benefit the community.
"In general what that is at the moment I don’t know. Covid has had a big impact on the high street, on retail.
"So it just joins the ranks of another empty shop premises. But I’m sure it’s potentially quite a nice little retailer.”
Anthony Verdon, 68, who lives in Beeston and works in IT, said: “My thoughts are that they really ought to consider the character of an area.
"You look at the devastation in the centre of Nottingham because of buildings that pay no regard to the character of the area.
"The high street is the main part [of Beeston], that is getting run down.
"They [developers] have got all that kind of new building and are not really uniting the area into one sort of homogeneous centre.
"In a way, they are destroying the area.
“This is a lovely building - why not do something with it and rejuvenate the area?
"Student accommodation is not really rejuvenating the area.”
The site has been vacant for about two-and-a-half years, Julian Owen, owner of Julian Owen Associates Architects, said.
"It's within easy walking distance, under five minutes [to the University of Nottingham]," he said.
"That would be the west entrance. I am aware of local feeling about HMOs which in a way I sympathise with it, but there is a demand clearly for student housing in the area.
"That's not because landlords or people like our client are creating student accommodation, students are already there. If people are unhappy with the number of students in the area it's a question, I would suggest, for the university.
"It's really a question of accommodating all the students in the best possible way in the community.
"As I understand it from our client his intention is that the students that will come to his property would otherwise quite easily be in HMOs in residential streets."
He added: "What we're proposing here is to consolidate them into one block.
"They are close to the university itself, there are residents on Marlborough Road but actually it's on to the High Road, a lot of that's commercial use.
"So it seems like a very good way of dealing with the current problems that have been expressed by the residents in Beeston."
He is working on the project on behalf of his client Sandip Leihal.