Mixed feelings for residents after 162-bed student block approved

Plans to convert a derelict university building into student accommodation have divided the local population of Chilwell.

Developer ALB Group said it was “over the moon” when proposals for the 162-bed building were finally given the go-ahead on appeal on Monday August 1.

The bid for Nottingham College’s old campus on Chilwell High Road was initially rejected by Broxtowe Borough councilors last year.

Local taxpayers will now have to pay the bill for the call.

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ALB Group says it plans to prepare the first apartments in September 2023.

But some residents living near the site remain unhappy. Eighty residents initially opposed the plans in 2021.

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A woman who lives near Richmond Drive said she faced a ‘double whammy’ after previously struggling with tram construction work in Beeston.

The Resident’s Garden borders the former site of Nottingham College.

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She said: ‘We had part of our garden taken away when the tram was built [in 2015].

“Now we are going to suffer with the students, we have had enough. It’s shocking.

“Our lives will be changed again. There will be so much noise it will be miserable.

“I can understand that they want to build there, but it’s shameful.”

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The developer had previously agreed to increase the number of parking spaces from 15 to 25 in an effort to alleviate community concerns.

However, Chilwell resident Marian Belton, 75, said it was “awful” news that the plans had been approved.

She said: ‘We had a parking problem before when it was college.

“We have permits here, but after 6 p.m. they can park here overnight. There should be more places with the plans for such a volume of students.

“People living near Broadgate student accommodation have had a lot of trouble.

“I can’t imagine what it will be like for us. This will lower the price of our house.

“I don’t see why we need more housing here.”

But Amy Gill, who runs the Global Village Cafe in the High Road, is “really happy” the plans have been approved.

The 52-year-old said: ‘We just took over the business in January and there was some back and forth with the plans. We were hoping that something would happen there.

“It is worrying that the site is currently empty from a security point of view. We have seen that glass has been broken.

“During construction we will probably have builders here and hopefully students as well.”

Another Dale Lane resident added: ‘I always thought they should do something with the building because I look out my living room window and see the site, it’s such a mess.

“So I can really see both sides, but I think it should have been accommodation for families since we are in a housing crisis.”

Broxtowe MP Darren Henry said he has been monitoring the plans since he spoke to local residents when they first submitted.

“Now that the plans have been approved, I will be monitoring developments closely and want to continue to make sure the views of the Chilwell community are taken into account,” he told Local Democracy Reporting. Service.

Earlier this week Arran Bailey, chief executive of the ALB Group, welcomed the decision.

He said: ‘Despite the full support of the planning officers and committee planning officer last September, we lost by a vote and went through the planning appeal process which set us back 11 month.

“It’s had a huge impact on the business, and it’s forced me to let people go. We’re excited to come to this and happy to have won costs as well. We’re looking to get started as quickly as possible. on the spot.

“It’s been a long, difficult process to get to this point, but it all worked out for us in the end. After a lot of heartache, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s been a very difficult journey.

Up the road in Beeston, separate plans to house 419 students in a new town center accommodation block were turned down last week after councilors called the development ‘appalling’.

If the developer appeals this decision – which also goes against the recommendation of a planning officer – and wins the case, the council could face even higher costs.