February 15, 2022 5.45 pm

Bus provision proves too expensive for university’s 300-home student flats plan

Public transport no longer on the cards

The wheels have fallen off the bus, scuppering plans to improve public transport as part of a near 300-home student accommodation build, councillors will hear next week.

The City of Lincoln Council’s planning committee gave the go ahead in December to Bishop Grosseteste University’s plans to build student accommodation on Riseholme Road.

At the time they imposed a condition requiring the provision of increased public transport in a bid to tackle concerns over increased parking and traffic in the area.

However, council officers will tell the committee next Wednesday that “despite best efforts, they have been unable to issue the final decision … due to difficulties with the … condition”.

A report said that contrary to an initial Lincolnshire County Council Highways comment around improving an “existing commercial Stagecoach evening service” the information had turned out to be incorrect, with the service no longer running at all.

It said that to restart the service would cost in the region of £250,000 over three years, an amount which was “cost prohibitive and not reasonable” in scale to the development. LCC also won’t pay for it, and have instead withdrawn their request.

How the site had been laid out. | Image: BGU

Officers told members when the plans originally passed that they did not believe the request was “reasonable or proportionate” and they continue to push that rhetoric within the latest documents.

“Whilst officers agree that an increased bus service would be a positive impact for future occupants and local residents, such a request does not pass the tests of being necessary to mitigate an otherwise unacceptable development,” said the officers report.

“The proposal allows BGU to continue to develop and ensures that there is little impact on their neighbours and the wider city.

“The removal of the previously applied condition/obligation would allow the permission to be issued subject to the conditions listed below.”