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Decision Expected This Week on Major Accommodation Scheme in Exeter

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A decision on the University of Exeter's major student accommodation park will be given this week.

Plans to build student housing for University of Exeter students were recommended for approval by planning officers, but only after the scheme was deferred in February to allow for a planning revision.

Following the plans alterations, the University say the site will now contain a minimum of 1,200 student beds in buildings, which are 11 percent smaller and situated further away from residents.

Three of the tower blocks have been reduced in height, making them all three storeys tall, and two additional blocks have been entirely removed from the plans.

The amendments ensure the green space on the proposed site is now 73 percent larger than originally planned.

Despite the changes and the project being scaled back, the application saw a huge number of objections being submitted. In total 408 separate objections were raised, with members of the public still not satisfied with the revision.

Commenting on application Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Hollland, said: "I was frustrated the meeting was so restricted and invitation only. I feel residents have been let down.

"I was also frustrated that at the previous planning meeting in which it was considered, the plans were 30 seconds away from being declined but for the intervention of Cllr's Phil Bialyk and Peter Edwards who proposed the decision be deferred instead."

It's understood residents had asked for a 40 percent reduction in scale of the site, with the university only providing a 11 percent reduction in their revised plans.

Although Mr Holland agreed the additional purpose-built student beds would ease the pressure on houses of multiple occupancy, there are concerns over what will happen when these students move out of university halls in years two and three.

If approved the new accommodation is scheduled for completion by September 2021.