February 24, 2022 11.02 am

Bus services dropped from 300-home student accommodation plans

Too expensive to reinstate and expand cancelled service

A near 300-home student accommodation development will go ahead, with bus service commitments dropped from the plans.

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

The committee originally approved the plans in December with a condition to provide additional bus services. However, officers later discovered that a service thought to be in action no longer existed.

They said it would be too expensive for the landowner, the developer or the council to fund without impacting the viability of proposals

A report said to restart the service would cost aroud £250,000 over three years, which officers said was “cost prohibitive and not reasonable”.

Lincolnshire County Council, which had made the original request, has since withdrawn it.

Officers reiterated that they did not believe the request was “reasonable or proportionate” and, despite being a positive move, would not “mitigate an otherwise unacceptable development”.

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

Planning officer Simon Cousins said the service had ended at the start of the pandemic and the operator “does not anticipate this situation changing”.

“The cost to the applicants of reinstituting that service will be very high… and the county council, accepting that original request is now unreasonable, has withdrawn that request.

“We did everything that we could to try and implement the resolution, bnut ultimately this has not been possible.

“We advise you therefore that you confirm your December decision without the condition that was added regarding the bus service.”

Councillors were generally in agreement with the advice.

Councillor Gary Hewson, who was a major proponent of the original condition, said: “I recognise it hasn’t been successful and the reasons for it. I have no problems accepting the  rest of the applicaton with the other conditions with it.”

Councillor Biff Bean said there had been no guarantees the service would have run anyway, particularly as it was trying to impose controls on a private bus company.