Long-standing councillor says large scale student development in Lenton will cause ‘serious issues’

Artist impression of the 169-bed student development in Lenton
By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter

A long-standing Nottingham councillor said she could not support a large-scale student development in Lenton.

Cllr Sally Longford (Lab) was the only councillor on Nottingham City Council’s planning committee to reject the proposal.

She said large developments aimed at students are now “a serious issue for the city”.

Despite Cllr Longford stating her disapproval to the planning committee on Wednesday, May 18, other councillors felt the plans should be approved.

The plans are to demolish a commercial building sub-divided into two units which front onto Triumph Road and build a 169-bed student development.

One is occupied by a yoga studio and cafe and the other is a car dealership. Both would be knocked down for the purpose-built student development made up of cluster flats and studios.

There will also be 76 cycle spaces and four car parking spaces for management staff and the disabled.

Applicants DPP Planning on behalf of Cassidy (Triumph Road) Ltd have submitted the application.

Three residents had made written objections before the meeting, stating: “There are far too many students in this locality already and there is no requirement for anymore.

“The proposal won’t create a sense of community for local residents – they will feel even more abandoned by the council if this proposal is passed.

“The proposal would move long-term residents out of the area for short term tenants who don’t care about their surroundings.”

Concerns were also raised about more anti-social behaviour being created in an area already occupied by many students.

But council planning officers said the application supports “the future expansion and growth” of further education at the University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus.

They said: “Whilst acknowledging the concerns of local residents, it is considered that the provision of further good quality Purpose Built Student Accommodation is an important part of the strategy for attracting students that would otherwise occupy HMOs (houses of multiple occupancy) in Lenton.

“The site forms a logical extension of existing development within the Jubilee Campus and is sufficiently distant and separated from the nearest dwelling houses situated to the south of Derby Road.”

Cllr Longford, who was deputy leader of the council from 2019 until earlier this month, said: “This is in my ward, and I know people in this area feel the number of students is overwhelming – putting a strain on local services.

“The residents feel they have not been listened to and I do sympathise with them.

“But we as a council have no control over the number of students that come to the city. It is up to the university to recruit the students.

“They have expanded and created this amount of student accommodation. I do feel it is a serious issue for the city.”

She was also concerned the site was in “a serious flood risk area”.

Planning officers said the application would be granted planning permission subject to The Environment Agency withdrawing their objection upon provision of a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) and Surface Water Drainage Strategy.

She said: “We are enabling this and will cause more problems for ourselves in the future. It is not a good quality proposal in my view.”

Councillors granted planning permission, with only Cllr Longford voting against the application.

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