December 2, 2021 10.22 am

Flats for nearly 300 students near Yarborough Leisure Centre approved

Residents fear increased traffic and parking issues

Councillors have called for improved bus services and biodiversity as they approved plans to build accommodation for nearly 300 students near Yarborough Leisure Centre.

The City of Lincoln Council approved Bishop Grosseteste University’s proposals for land on Riseholme Road on Wednesday.

They include plans for four two/three storey buildings and five three/four storey buildings, along with reception, laundry facilities and warden accommodation. Just 17 parking spaces will be provided for unloading and staff parking only.

City of Lincoln Council planning meeting on Wednesday. | Photo: Daniel Jaines

The university’s plans included a number of changes to a previously-rejected application, for 295 bedspaces with teaching facilities and an on-site café, including reduced footprint and scale, increased distance from Riseholme Road, the loss of a teaching space, a reduction of parking spaces down from 40 and plans to keep trees to the front of the site.

Council officers recommended approval and said the previous barriers has been overcome. They said the development “integrates well into the character of the area”.

Councillor Gary Hewson said: “Clearly there are a lot of students that commute into the university and if they had a better bus service, that’s surely got to be better for students and for the local people as well.

“This may be good that the local residents mix with students because that’s the way people tend to get on.”

Councillor Rebecca Longbottom said more biodiversity should be called for to meet the council’s desires to combat climate change.

Some councillors were still concerned about the scale of the development but accepted the university had improved on its proposals and met the criteria it was rejected on last time.

The public gallery at Wednesday’s City of Lincoln Council planning meeting. | Photo: Daniel Jaines

Scott Fleming, Deputy Vice Chancellor of BGU told councillors: “We take our responsibilities to our near neighbours very seriously.

“This has been a long process and it is all the better for it.

“The outcome is a significantly different and much improved application.”

He looked to reassure residents that parking would increase on nearby streets and said previous issues had been caused “overwhelmingly” by commuting students. He said residential accommodation closer to the campus would reduce the need for parking.

“We are confident this will not add to roadside parking in the neighbourhood,” he said.

How the site will be laid out. | Image: BGU

More than 30 residents had objected to the plans with concerns over the density and height of the buildings and an increase in traffic.

They feared a ban on parking would see students park on nearby streets.

Objector John Noone said: “The height of the hotel-like accommodation that’s proposed is not in keeping with the area and will permanently damage it.

“The rooflines of the four storey blocks will dominate the skyline for generations.”

He said BGU already had land it could build on elsewhere and told councillors there would be a surplus in student accommodation in the future.

He said it would “destroy one of the few remaining publicly open green spaces” in the city.

The Lincoln Civic Trust said that although it was a “far better plan than the previous application” it still had concerns.

NHS England requested a sum of £80,575 towards new facilities at the Lindum and Minister Medical Practices to tackle additional demands on GP services.

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