Tuesday 16 July 2024
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Plans for 22-storey apartment block on London Road rejected for design reasons

The development of three tower blocks on a busy road in Nottingham has been stopped after councillors sent plans ‘back to the drawing board’.

A 22-storey tower block, complimented by two smaller blocks, had been proposed at the junction of Queen’s Road and London Road.

The tower would be home to 163 ‘buy-to-let’ apartments, while a smaller nine-storey block would contain 75 apartments, and another 12-storey block would have enough room for 406 students.

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But concern had already been raised over the ‘detrimental’ impact the scheme could have on the city.

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The plans, submitted by planning and development consultancy Lichfields and designed by architecture and client advisory practice Consarc, had been recommended for approval.

However councillors unanimously deferred them over inadequate architecture, decoration, form, design and the need for a better contribution to the city skyline.

“Looking at it, it really is quite concerning,” Cllr AJ Matsiko (Lab), who represents the Sherwood ward, said.

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“I have got some serious concerns but my main one is the scale and dominance really; where it is, in comparison to other buildings, you can see it from miles away.

“And an impact on the character of the area. It is going to be changing the landscape. It is not in-keeping with the character of the area.”

Similarly, the chairman of the planning committee, Meadows Cllr Michael Edwards (Lab), said while the developer had seemingly celebrated the architecture of the city in its design documents, its own plans needed work.

“They celebrate the landmarks of the city, as if to say it is important, and we as a committee would agree it is important, they celebrate some new architecture built proximate to the new proposal as if to celebrate it, and then we get this,” he said.

“Nottingham needs housing and we absolutely need student accommodation, we need it, I am in a situation now where I know of a mother and a daughter moving in with a grandmother because of what the private landlord has done with the rent, because of the market situation, it is shocking.

“We are clear we want accommodation. But there is a job to be done to turn that into something that people can relate to and say ‘that’s nice’.”

The 350 neighbouring properties were notified of the plans and three letters of objection were submitted alongside one letter expressing support.

Aspley Cllr Graham Chapman (Lab) added: “This is a gateway building, it is one of the gateways into the city from the east, and therefore it is even more imperative that it has some quality.

“I just think we have got to send this back to the drawing board.

“We have been permissive [in the past], but we do not want to compromise on the design.”

The Nottingham Civic Society also objected to the plans.

Pavements along Queen’s Road would be widened and a public realm space would be created between each building.

The site, in Nottingham Station Conservation Area, had been inhabited by a number of businesses including United Carpets, used-car sellers NottinghamCar.com and Magpie Security.

The units have already been demolished.

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