Huge 702 bed student development planned in Nottingham’s Island Quarter

Planning permission has been recommended to be granted for a huge 702 bed student development in Nottingham.

The application, for which permission could be finalised on Wednesday, September 22, comprises of three blocks of differing heights around a courtyard and pedestrianised ‘street’ on the former Boots Island site, between London Road and Manvers Street.

The tallest block would be 12 storeys with the remaining two blocks being nine and eight storeys high. The blocks would provide 284, 196 and 226 units respectively, with the two taller blocks providing cluster flats and the shortest providing studio flats.

The space is currently undeveloped and comprises of temporary car parking and open land with vegetation.

There are also plans for a ground floor café on the site.

Planning documents detail aims for the area to be focused on pedestrians and also encouraging cycling as a mode of transport by providing cycle parking to occupants.

There will also be outdoor terrace areas on the 6th and 9th floors of the blocks, which cannot be used between the hours of 11pm and 8am.

The Sneinton Hermitage junction will have to be altered, with a new arrangement that will favour pedestrian and cycle movements from Sneinton.

And alterations to the Manvers Street and City Link junction will mean that new areas of adopted highway will be created.

Nottingham City Council had identified the impact of student accommodation on impact upon the amenity of neighbouring occupiers and the wider area, the scale, layout and design and the required highway improvements as potential issues in the planning documents for the project.

There was one response to the planning application from the public, which was an objection.

Nottingham Civil Society also opposed the application as they said that the and scale of the project would result in the buildings having an overbearing effect on public space.

City residents had mixed feelings on the new development but welcomed development of the currently vacant land.

Steven Morley, 49, a roofer from Eastwood said: “I agree with it. They’ve stopped letting them build any more student houses out in Lenton and the students have to live somewhere.

“They contribute to the economy too so they are a benefit.”

Dean Rigley, 36, an engineer from Nottingham, said: “They might as well use it for that, this site has been derelict for years. It’s about time they did something with it.

“It’s better than what they’re doing at Broadmarsh with all the open spaces creating no revenue. Students bring in a lot of revenue, so more students is better for the local economy.”

Tom Wilk, 45, owns his own business and lives in the city centre: “It would be nice to do something with this land, it’s been empty for as long as I can remember. I don’t think tower blocks are a good idea though, they don’t look right and there’s too many as it is.

“There is already too much student accommodation, I think, but they do need to do something with this land. I would like something a bit different that is more likely to bring people out here.

“The thing is, student accommodation equals profit, and that’s all they really care about. They don’t care about local residents, they just care about money.”

The accommodation is part of developer Conygar Investment Company’s Island Quarter plan, which they have previously said aims to be a 36-acre “city within a city”.

The new proposed masterplan for the Island Quarter
The new proposed masterplan for the Island Quarter
(Image:  Conygar Investment Company)

Speaking at an event on Monday, September 13 where the new masterplan was unveiled for the site, architects David Leonard and David West spoke about the wider vision for the Island Quarter.

It contains 10,000sqm more urban river and green space than the original, as well as more than 20 restaurants, bars and cafés – including Canal Turn, and will boast 1,600 new homes and allow for more than 6,000 office jobs.

David Leonard, of Leonard Design Architects, said: “The Island Quarter is a hugely important site in Nottingham. It is bespoke to the city and the area of Nottingham where it lies. It is anchored on the city’s canal, which has become a beating heart of Nottingham over the past year – with people taking to the water during the pandemic to enjoy water sports such as paddle boarding, rowing and canoeing.

“Relooking at the masterplan as a result of Covid, we were seeing our work patterns changing our living patterns changing, and a real desire for open space and greenery. These were the big motivators for having another fundamental look at the plan.

“As a Nottingham headquartered international architecture practice, we have a vested interest in the success of this site, and our new masterplan will ensure that The Island Quarter is a destination where people want to spend their time.”

David West, founding director at Studio Egret West, said: “We want The Island Quarter to be very distinctive. The aim is that it is complementary to the other Nottingham quarters and yet differentiated and contrasting. We have amplified the overarching theme of an ‘island’ into an ‘archipelago’ of mixed use accommodation set within a verdant, nature-filled landscape.”

The first phase of the wider Island Quarter site is due for completion in early 2022.

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Nottinghamshire Live – Local News