Friday 12 July 2024
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Nottingham

‘City skyline to change’ as 17-storey student tower in Nottingham gets the green light

A 17-storey tower of student flats has been given the green light.

Nottingham City Council planners agonised over whether the building was too tall, and whether the student housing market was becoming saturated, before permitting it.

The building, which is also seven and twelve storeys in place, will sit on a former factory site at the junction of Wilford Road and Traffic Street.

It will offer 395 student rooms and has been proposed by a company called Jensco (Wilford Road) Limited.

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On Wednesday (June 19) the council planning committee was shown artists’ impressions of how it would change the skyline from Nottingham Castle, around a quarter of a mile away.

Councillor Kevin Clarke (Ind) said: “I don’t see the advantage of that building standing in front of the castle.

“There are comments from Historic England and the Civic Society about it obstructing the views – to me, it’s all negative.”

Councillor Graham Chapman (Lab) agreed said it was “four storeys taller than I would like”.

He added: “The number of students is in decline. I wonder whether their business model is pushing [the building] higher than it needs to be.

“However, having students in the city is an export – we are selling education. Students are keeping city centre retail going.”

The council’s planning officers said that they deemed it acceptable to have one high-rise building given the height of others in that area had been carefully restricted.

It is the final brownfield site on Traffic Street, which has been regenerated from an industrial area into a student housing hub.

This plot was once used by Boots as offices and a laboratory, and was cleared in 2008.

Councillor Kirsty L Jones (Lab) said: “I’m not squeamish about the height, and we really need residential accommodation of any type.”

Some argued that they would much rather see traditional family homes go up instead.

Councillor Faith Gakanje-Ajala (Lab) said: “I struggle to understand the student accommodation model in Nottingham.

“Small families are socially excluded. Homeless families are being placed outside of Nottingham because of the shortage.”

Councillors were advised that purpose-built student housing would relieve pressure on traditional homes, which could be converted back for family use.

Negotiations for the apartment building have been going on for five years, with the small space making the area difficult to develop.

The developer has agreed to pay £850,000 towards affordable housing in the area.

The plans were passed after all voted in favour except for Councillor Clarke, who voted to refuse it.

•  Almost 600 student flats approved on former John Player site in Nottingham

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