A new block of student flats will be built in Radford on the site of the Nottingham School of Martial Arts.
The current building, on the corner of Cobden Street and Ilkeston Road – opposite Tesco Express – will be demolished to make way for the 42 flats.
But Nottingham City councillors raised several concerns, both about whether there was a need for more purpose-built student accommodation in the area and the design of the proposed building.
Unusually, the vote on whether the building should be approved was tied, meaning the chairman of the committee, Councillor Michael Edwards, got the deciding vote.
He voted for the proposals, which means the building can go ahead, but the city planners have been instructed to work on improving several design aspects, including the front door, windows, corner and general appearance.
Councillor Lauren O’Grady, who represents the Sherwood ward for Labour, said: “I understand there is a need for student housing in Nottingham, but putting it in a place which is seemingly already saturated with a high population of students is perhaps not a great idea.”
Councillor Graham Chapman, who represents the Aspley ward for Labour, added: “I have spent the last 20 years trying to get the city to build more specialist student accommodation in order to deflate the property market.
“But I don’t approve of this scheme, because it’s in a location where there is already a large population of students, and the way we should be dealing with it – and the way we are dealing with – is to locate the students where they’re not going to have a detrimental effect on the community, and that’s in the city centre.”
Councillor Chapman also described the building’s current design as “acking imagination”, “unexciting” and “banal”.
However councillors were advised at the meeting that they may not have legal grounds to defend a decision to refuse planning permission, if an appeal was launched by the developer, Mr Tony Vohra.
The vote at Nottingham City Council’s planning meeting on July 17 was tied six to six, with the chairman having the deciding vote.