March 25, 2022 10.52 am

New student village to go ahead in Lincoln despite university objection

The university said there is already a surplus of student accommodation

A new student village behind Tritton Retail Park has been granted planning permission, despite heavy opposition from the University of Lincoln.

The proposals were for the now-derelict former William Sinclair Holdings and Ruston buildings, demolished in 2019, on Firth Road in Lincoln to be replaced with a series of residential apartments and houses of multiple occupancy (HMO).

Developers Ashcourt of Hull have said the build would be located within a 10-minute walk of the University of Lincoln campus, and is in a suitable spot to help regenerate the area.

A photo looking towards the site. | Image: Daniel Jaines

The plans were objected to by the University of Lincoln, who claimed there is already a surplus of student accommodation in the city, currently of 2,670 beds, which will rise to 3,542 next year if the scheme is granted.

However, despite vocal opposition to the build, councillors have voted to grant permission to the plans going ahead with developers citing the need to reduce demand for HMOs in areas such as the West End of Lincoln.

According to documents, it will be developed in two phases, first seeing 22 buildings including 67 residential units, an office building and eight apartments.

Phase two will include a further three apartment blocks and nine HMOs, meaning the development will create around 586 bed spaces in total, along with 143 parking spaces and storage for 84 bikes.

How the site would be laid out.

The sale was negotiated by Brown & Co on a subject to planning basis on behalf of Riverstone Developments Ltd for £5 million in 2021.

The property consultancy firm had previously purchased the site on Riverstone’s behalf in 2018 from the receivers of William Sinclair Holdings for £1.6 million, prior to extensive demolition works.

James Cameron is the partner and head of commercial agency at Brown & Co’s Doddington Road office. | Photo: Brown & Co JHWalter

James Cameron, partner and head of commercial agency at Brown & Co’s Doddington Road office in Lincoln said: “The long-awaited grant of planning consent for Ashcourt’s scheme on our client’s site will bring a welcome new addition to the student market in Lincoln.

“We and Ashcourt believe the new scheme will be well received with strong take-up, given the expanding nature of Lincoln university and particularly now the new Medical School is open.

“We purchased this site for our retained clients, Riverstone, just over three years ago. The nine acre site was then cleared by Riverstone at a substantial cost prior to us marketing it on their behalf in the latter part of 2020.

“Substantial interest was shown by a number of potential purchasers with Ashcourt becoming the preferred bidder in early 2021 for a student-led scheme and where a sale was negotiated at £5million on a subject to planning basis.

“We very much hope that the sale will be concluded in May 2022 once the Section 106 Agreement has been completed.”

The university stated in the committee meeting that the council’s housing strategy report notes there is sufficient development in the pipeline until at least 2026 to meet student accommodation needs.

More recent data provided to the committee by the university shows there is sufficient stock to meet these needs until 2030.