Plans for Atholl House Approved
13th Nov 2018
The approval of a student accommodation block in Exeter has sparked a debate into whether the city needs such developments.
The development in question is that of the former pub in Paris Street, which will be demolished and replaced by a six-storey block with 107 bedrooms. It will also include a private gym, cinema, laundry room and common room.
Despite the application receiving 38 objections and a 2,297-signature petition against the plans, councillors on the planning committee voted to allow the scheme.
Some have argued whether the recent growth in purpose-built student accommodation is necessary, whilst others say it helps take the pressure off the city's existing housing stock.
A University of Exeter spokesman said: "As a world-leading university, Exeter attracts students and staff from around the world, and they contribute significantly to the local economy and the community.
"We are working to accommodate more students on campus. In recent years we have built £130 million worth of new accommodation for 2,600 students. New developments are planned on the Streatham Campus which will provide accommodation for around 1,500 students.
The university continued, saying: "Decisions on whether private developments for student-focused accommodation within the city are appropriate are for the relevant planning authority to make, having taken into consideration the views of local residents."
A planning officer's report, recommending the approval of the development, indicated that despite the objections raised, the university's growth plans mean "significantly" more additional bedrooms will be required and therefore applications for purpose-built student accommodation should be welcomed on appropriate sites.
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