Monday 15 July 2024
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22-storey apartment block in Nottingham recommended for approval

A planned 22-storey block of flats on a major Nottingham road has been recommended for approval despite objections due to its potential ‘detrimental’ impact on the city.

A recommendation for approval just moves the decision to the planning committee who have to vote on the final decision.

The tower would sit at the junction linking Queen’s Road to London Road and include 163 ‘buy-to-rent’ apartments.

It would be complemented by another nine-storey block, containing 75 apartments, and a 12-storey block to the west with enough room for 406 student beds.

The site, in Nottingham Station Conservation Area and near to the Island Quarter and newly opened Binks Yard, had been inhabited by a number of businesses including United Carpets, used-car sellers and Magpie Security.

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The units belonging to the businesses have since been demolished.

Proposals, submitted by planning consultants Lichfields, have been recommended for approval and will be discussed at a Nottingham City Council planning meeting on October 19.

The 350 neighbouring properties have been notified and three letters of objection have been submitted alongside one letter expressing support.

Nottingham Civic Society has objected to the plans. Hilary Silvester, the executive chairwoman of the civic society said: “It seems almost they want Nottingham to be seen as a modern city like Birmingham, which has become quite ugly.

“There are cities where tall buildings make sense, like New York, but Nottingham is an old city and a lot of the buildings have significant historical importance. It could undermine that.

“I have praised Binks Yard. That is a really nice, new building. It is sad to have to say something bad about this one.

“We are disappointed, because of the impact on the Lace Market and the area around St Mary’s.”

Other issues raised included the potential harmful impact on the “visual amenities of residents of the Hicking Building”, which sits opposite the site, as well as concerns over the height of the development and increased traffic.

While an Environmental Impact Assessment acknowledged the tower would obscure views of the Grade I-listed St Mary’s Church from Trent Bridge and London Road, while also being visible above the buildings in High Pavement, its overall impact is “not considered significant”.

Nottingham is yet to meet its quota for student beds, with the last count estimating it was behind by around 7,000.

The developer says the building would feature a ‘green roof’, as well as the installation of solar panels and air source heat pumps.

A letter of support considers the scheme “to be good and ideal for the city centre”, while the development “would provide much needed housing, including housing for young professionals and graduates.”

The letter says the development could also offer “improved aesthetics of the site, which at the moment is an eyesore”.

The Nottingham Local Access Forum, an independent advisory body, said it “welcomes the consideration that has been given to active transport including pedestrian, cycle and public transport networks and that the application provides a large number of secure cycle parking spaces.”

The development would be delivered in two phases, the first being the completion of the purpose-built student accommodation, and the second the buy-to-rent apartments.

A financial contribution of £200,000 for each phase would be given for the improvement of open space and the public realm, with scope for more in investment in education and affordable housing, plans say.

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