Mixed fortunes for developers aiming to build new student housing in Lancaster

City councillors approved a student housing plan for an historic Lancaster street this week - but refused another on the opposite side of the city.

Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:31 pm
City councillors approved plans for student housing in St Leonard's Gate this week.

As we reported last month, plans had been submitted to Lancaster City Council for two student housing developments in the city centre.

One was proposed for a site in St Leonard’s Gate, which included some demolition work, while another was suggested for a listed building in China Street.

Retrospective planning permission was being sought for demolition of a workshop and the construction of a three and four storey building to create student accommodation for land at 108 St Leonard’s Gate.

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Sixteen one-bed studios and a two-bed flat along with a bike and bin store room were proposed there.

The site is currently used partly for car parking and the Sugar House club, run by Lancaster University Students’ Union, is located nearby, along with other residential apartments.

Councillors meeting on Monday agreed with the officers' recommendation to approve the application, with officers saying the new student apartment buildings would enhance the area compared with the current car parking site and workshop.

However, plans for a listed building at 15 China Street, submitted for retrospective permission to change the use of the building’s first and second floor managers’ accommodation to student accommodation, were turned down by the committee.

Planning officers had concerns over the concentration of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the area and feared that the upper floor changes would create sub-standard living conditions because of inadequate light and outlooks in some of the bedrooms.