Student housing plans rejected after objections

December 02 2018

Student housing plans rejected after objections

By Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter
Overdeveloped plans to house up to 206 students near Winterbourne have been thrown out after opposition from university leaders and the parish council.
Permission was granted last year for a four-storey block with 92 student bedrooms on the site south of the A4174 ring road,  which was previously used to sell Christmas trees.
But the new outline proposals were for a six-storey building with less parking that would have been “shoehorned” in.
The University of the West of England objected, saying: “This application is a speculative proposal made by a private developer which neither shares UWE’s vision nor will provide the appropriate and necessary pastoral care and welfare support.”
It said the lack of affiliation to UWE means it would have no control over issues like anti-social behaviour and its reputation could be damaged.
Winterbourne Parish Council opposed the “total overdevelopment” of the site and said the noise from the ring road would be to the detriment of anyone living there.
Transportation officers also objected because the development would be inaccessible to people with disabilities, and there was no visitor cycle parking.
Planning officers said South Gloucestershire Council’s housing shortfall tipped the balance in favour of the development, and the previous application meant student accommodation on the site had already been backed in principle.
But while the previous proposals would have made “optimum” use of the site, they said: “What is now proposed, entirely subsumes the site; the six-storey height and excessive massing of the building is neither informed by the local context or enhances local character.”
“Rather than being a high quality landmark building, the proposal would appear as an isolated, incongruous anomaly within the street scene, the scale and form of which would be jarring on the eye.
“The proposed development would be shoe-horned into the site with a poorly designed layout, which can only be interpreted as a clear over-development of the site.”
The planning officers said the lack of on-site spaces would result in students parking in residential areas of Stoke Park and Cheswick Village, while the under-provision of cycle parking “seriously undermines” its sustainability.
They added some of the transport proposals were unworkable and without a warden on site, waste bins could be left abandoned on the roads – resulting in “severe” transport issues.
The application from Prestige Property Developments was refused.