Student housing go-ahead

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A new 79-bed student block in Lancaster featuring “a new concept in interactive living” has been given planning approval.

The five-storey apartment building will be built on what is currently a private short stay car park in Damside Street, and is expected to be available for rent by next year’s student intake.

Councillors approved the plans at a planning meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on Monday, after applicant Andrew Stanyon withdrew a previous application for a 123-bed block with a restaurant/bar on the ground floor last year.

Planning officers said it was essential that the the new application was reduced in height in order to preserve some of the views to Lancaster Castle and The Priory from Damside Street.

The development received two letters of objection citing mainly size and scale, and arguing that a noise assessment had been carried out in June, after students had left for the holidays.

Developer Andrew Stanyon said after the meeting: “This is a new concept in interactive living. We’re going to look at the catering side of it, bringing people in from the local college to cook, and also encourage Come Dine With Me events, so you’d have students from different unis coming in for an event, and vice versa.

“We want to encourage different ways of using the building. It’s certainly a new concept in Lancaster.”

One objection to this said: “Whilst impressive, in reality students don’t live like this.

“Views into the accommodation by passers by are more likely to see overflowing bins and empty bottles/mess.”

Coun Dave Brookes said: “I don’t have a problem with the design, but my only issue is that is too big for where it is, and I don’t think I can support it.”

And Coun Paul Aitchison added: “Having students in town improves the local economy, I think this is a fantastic opportunity.