PROPOSAL TO BUILD STUDENT ACCOMMODATION ON LAND OFF HUNTINGDON STREET RAISES CONCERNS
On Monday 1 February, Jamie Barlow, Nottingham Post Digital News Correspondent, reported on plans by the Purico group of companies to build almost 250 student flats on vacant land on Union Road and St. Marks Street.
A plan to build student flats on vacant land on Ilkeston Road, also reported on by Jamie Barlow on Saturday 6 February 2021, has similarly raised concerns that the areas around Lenton are already 'swamped' with student accommodation.
Almost 250 student flats could replace vacant Nottingham buildings
'Virtually every building that is going up in that area is a student development'
Vacant buildings off a main Nottingham road could be flattened to make way for more student flats, plans have shown.
Two new student blocks are earmarked for land off Huntingdon Street, one for Union Road and the other in St Marks Street - with a communal courtyard between them.
It marks the second phase of a wider student accommodation plan for land under the ownership of the Purico group of companies - and 249 studio flats would be created under the latest plans.
John Taylor, who is managing the development for Purico, said: "Everything will be demolished, everything on Union Road, Curzon Street that we own and St Marks Street.
"The frontage buildings on Huntingdon Street won't be demolished at the moment so that's the old nightclub and the pub we don't own.
"It's everything behind there really.
"It will involve the demolition and clearance of empty buildings. They've all been empty 10 years.
"We have gone for a much larger size of unit because we were asked by the council to consider future possible non-student uses so they could be converted more easily into alternative [residential] uses."
He added: "You need to look at an August completion date for anything, this is a 15 to 18-month project.
"So even with the best will in the world it would be summer 2021 demolition aiming for it to be ready for August 2023. That's the earliest."
The land for which the latest plans concern comprises vacant industrial buildings, fronting Union Road and St Marks Street.
The late Victorian properties which front Union Road are adjoined by a two-storey building which was converted to a shisha lounge.
A cleared site to the east, on the corner of Curzon Street, has planning permission for a five-storey student block
The two sites fall under the same ownership, with the corner plot classed as phase one.
Councillor Dave Liversidge, who represents Labour for St Ann's on Nottingham City Council, said there were "too many student developments in the area".
"There's no point in objecting to every one, I am not objecting to that one particularly," he said.
"It's sort of a post-industrial area that has been changed, obviously with the Aldi being built underneath that other development."
He said it was 'unfortunate' that student developments had taken over, adding: "I have got nothing against students at all.
"Virtually every building that is going up in that area is a student development."
Other large student complexes in the area include the Glasshouse in Union Road.
It comes after conservationists warned about a "wall of high-rise buildings" between the city centre, St Ann's and Sneinton Market.
Flats plan for Lenton car wash site in area 'heavily one-sided' with students
'It does not exactly make me go "wow"'
Critics concerned about a flats block proposed for a car wash site in Lenton say the area is already 'swamped' with student accommodation.
The 32 student apartments, planned for Ilkeston Road on land used as a car sales forecourt, has triggered objection from residents who said that the area was already 'one-sided' with students.
Kate Loewenthal, chair of the Lenton Drives and Neighbours Residents' Association, said student accommodation ought to be built elsewhere, rather than in an area already 'swamped' with it.
"Nobody in the area living around here wants more student accommodation," said Mrs Loewenthal, 50.
"It's been highlighted more so than usual through the pandemic, the issues that it causes with the number of students in the area.
"There's been a lot of news about the problems through this last year but these problems we have been having for the last 20 years.
"The more students that are brought to the area the more it exacerbates the problems."
She added: "We're well aware that not all students cause problems. It's not necessarily always about the problems, it's about the balance of the community.
"No community can operate when it's so heavily one-sided.
"Through the pandemic it's really sort of highlighted how few residents there are to support each other."
Mrs Loewenthal, who lives in the Lenton area, said there was a "desire for the community in the area to work better".
"It's not necessary against the students," she said.
"It's more just pro-community cohesion and community balance and all the rest of it."
Maja Fletcher, a representative of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs (houses in multiple occupation), said: "That one on Ilkeston Road, I had a brief look at it, it does not exactly make me go 'wow'.
"What I would like to see is decent purpose-built [development] on university land - and that is on the Jubilee Campus.
"Over at that end, where this proposal is, there's a nucleus of a student village there."
Dino Labbate, director of Swish Architecture Ltd, said: "Our client’s scheme seeks to develop an existing brownfield site, located in a highly sustainable urban location.
"The size and nature of the proposed units help to meet a growing need for purpose-built student accommodation in the area to keep up with increasing demand.
"Our design approach aims to create a high quality and considerate addition to the street scene with internal and external spaces that will create a positive sense of community and integration for the proposed and existing occupants."
Nottinghamshire Live has attempted to contact Opal Cars, based at the site, for comment.
The applicant is listed as Mr K Mohammad, of Hoperise Ltd.