By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Two councillors believe demolishing a popular Nottingham pub to make way for a five-storey student housing block will ruin the look of their area.
Developers want to demolish The Nottingham Legend pub in Lower Parliament Street near to the Motorpoint Arena and build 40 studio apartments.
More than 50 people have objected to the proposal, calling for Nottingham City Council’s planning committee to reject the decision on Wednesday, July 21.
The objectors include Councillor Sam Webster (Lab) and Councillor Angharad Roberts (Lab), who represent the city’s Castle Ward.
In a letter to the council, they say: “We are concerned about the poor design of the building, which will not benefit the local area.
“We are also concerned about the impact of a high density student accommodation block abutting a mixed residential social housing neighbourhood at Carter Gate.
“Several local residents have contacted us to raise their concerns that the proposed building would be too tall and will block light and views from existing residential dwellings at Carter Gate.
“The current Nottingham Legend building is a low rise building. There are understandable anxieties about potential anti-social behaviour, especially noise nuisance and pressure on car parking spaces.”
But the plans, submitted by Punch Pubs and Co, are set to be approved.
There would be a main entrance off Lower Parliament Street leading into ground floor communal spaces, including lounge, kitchen, cinema, and laundry rooms.
There would be a cycle facility and provision being made for one disabled car parking space.
The plans have also “devastated” current landlady Michelle Padley, who has leased the pub – a popular venue for Nottingham Panther ice hockey fans – for the last seven years.
She said: “I am not very happy and there is a lot of people that are not happy. There are other places that could be knocked down and built on and there is already a lot of student accommodation in the city. I know they (Punch Pubs) are selling it for a lot of money because of the land.
“It is my business, but it is their building. It is a busy pub. We have a lot of hockey teams coming into the pub when they have competitions. We had a refurbishment the year before lockdown.
“A lot of people also use it before and after concerts at the Motorpoint. The pub is viable, it is very viable. Where are all these people going to go? I’m devastated.”
Mrs Padley also lived in the flat above the pub, which she calls “a family home.” She has moved out and is now renting a property in Cotgrave and actively looking for a new pub to run.
Four or five people will also lose their job as a result.
A report prepared for the planning committee states that more than 50 objections had been made to the plans.
Locals have said this would mean the “loss of a thriving family pub and community facility’ and there is “no need for more student accommodation” which is “driving away residents” and will see a surge in noise and anti-social behaviour.
The Campaign for Real Ale believes the Nottingham Legend has a future as a viable public house if planning permission is refused.
It wants Nottingham City Council to insist the owners of the pub undertake “a meaningful marketing exercise to test whether or not there may be demand for the public house.”
CAMRA added: “Its removal without replacement would create a pub desert in that part of the city centre.”
Nottingham Civic Society has also objected to the proposal’s “fortress-like design and its grim forbidding colour palette.”
But Nottingham City Council believes there is a shortage of developments that will draw students away from occupying houses in residential areas like Lenton.
In the planning papers, it said there needs to be an “ongoing supply of additional student bedspaces in order to meet increases in the number of students attending further and higher education courses within the city.”
The report added: “Whilst the potential for antisocial behaviour will always exist in student developments, a student management plan will include a commitment for an operator to work proactively with the local community, including 24 hour contact details and community liaison.
“It is considered that the scale and design of the proposed development is now appropriate to the street scenes of Lower Parliament Street.
“Whilst being taller than its immediate neighbours, the proposed building does not dominate this context when taking into account the scale of other buildings within the area.”