Broxtowe taxpayers left with £20,000 bill after developer won appeal to build Beeston student block

The student block in Station Street
The student block in Station Street
By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter

Broxtowe taxpayers have been left with a £20,000 bill after a developer won an appeal against the council to build a student block in Beeston.

Cassidy Group was granted permission for a 419-bed building in Station Road in June last year, after it took Broxtowe Borough Council’s decision to reject the scheme to the Planning Inspectorate for appeal.

Councillors first voted against the plans during a Planning Committee meeting in 2022. Council officers warned elected members that the applicant could win on appeal, leaving the authority with significant costs.

Now a Freedom of Information request, submitted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, has revealed the council has been forced to pay £19,659.60 in appeal costs to the developer.

The total planning officer time spent on the appeal also resulted in further costs of £712.75, on top of costs relating to legal officer time of £153, bringing the overall sum to more than £20,000.

Plans for the building prompted a petition from residents opposing the scheme. It garnered around 1,000 signatures at the time.

The petition had been set up by the Beeston Civic Society.

“We  are bitterly disappointed that the many voices of locals who know best what our town needs and doesn’t need have been ignored,” the group said, in a statement.

Council leader Cllr Milan Radulovic (Lab) also wrote to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, formally requesting a review of the appeal decision.

Cassidy Group argued students living in Beeston currently reside in family homes that have been converted into flats or Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), and the purpose-built building would help reduce student demand for family housing.

“Our scheme will help free up homes for families to live in and encourage the use of public transport,” a spokesperson for the developer said.

“Beeston has fantastic infrastructure, and the new development is designed to enhance that.

“We’re excited to see this site, which has sat derelict for so long, finally be the home of something exciting for Beeston.”

Broxtowe Borough Council has been contacted for comment.

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