Student accommodation rejected without car restriction

An outline proposal for 204 bed spaces of much-needed purpose-built student accommodation in the centre of a Nottinghamshire city was rejected when an inspector found essential arrangements to prevent students keeping cars had not been legally secured.

The site, comprising former industrial units, lay within an allocated university campus but the council considered the area to be reserved for academic uses in supplementary planning guidance. The inspector, however, decided that the SPG predated local plan policy which supported ancillary development such as purpose-built student accommodation. He accepted evidence of a shortfall in supply of student accommodation that was putting pressure on the local housing stock and communities and a clear unmet need. In terms of area character, the inspector judged the four storey design in keeping with the city centre surroundings.

Taking into account that the site occupied an accessible location served by public transport, the inspector nevertheless saw evidence of parking stress in the local area and considered that without restrictions to prevent students from keeping vehicles, given the limited on-site parking provision, existing on-street parking problems would be worsened. Having identified defects in the appellant’s unilateral undertaking, the inspector concluded that conflict with highway policies had not been addressed and in addition necessary contributions to public open space and local employment required by the local plan had not been secured. On this basis he dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Gareth Wildgoose; Written representations

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