‘Bland’ high-rise St Marks student flats rejected

More than 1,300 student rooms set to be built as part of the Lincoln St Marks redevleopment have been rejected following huge criticism of the design of the site.

The build, which would see 10 buildings, ranging from four to 10 storeys high created, is the first part of a £150 million redevelopment of St Marks which was given outline permission in by the City of Lincoln Council in 2017.

In total, the buildings would create 1,372 bedrooms with shared living spaces. These would have been constructed in three phases of 407, 408 and 557 bedrooms leading up to May 2022.

Approval has already been given to for applicant Aberdeen Standard Investments to demolish the former Homebase, Lidl, Topps Tiles and part of the BHS unit in order to make way for the accommodation.

Visuals of the site on St Marks which is currently occupied by Homebase, Lidls and Topps Tiles.

Councillors stressed the student accomodation was needed for the city with some saying it had ‘decimated’ areas of the city.

However, councillors were highly critical of the design, with some saying it harkened back to the 50s/60s, and had an American-style look.

Councillor Bob Bushell called the building ‘bland’ and ‘boring’ and says there’s ‘no creativity’.

“Lincoln deserves better designs than this,” he added.

Councillor Ronald Hills called it ‘more brown boxes’.

“Its ‘an attempt to squeeze a quart into a pint pot,” he said.

Others said the design was purely subjective.

Councillor Naomi Tweddle said her opinion is that the building reflects Lincoln’s ‘proud industrial heritage’.

She liked how the buildings were tapered back from the road.

She said she didn’t like the facade of the Gateway on Tritton Road or many of the student accommodation buildings.

When completed, the major development will also include a number of new shops, hotel and a car park with up to 1,100 spaces.

As previously reported, the scheme will eventually see all the units to the west of Debenhams demolished and replaced with new retail units, leisure space and other amenities.

Space would also be made for cycle storage and management facilities.

Options discussed also include the possibility of a new cinema and waterfront restaurants and the scheme has the potential to generate up to 2,000 new jobs in the city.