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Historic Nottingham Building to Become Student Flats

Posted by Calum Martin in

Approval has been granted for the conversion of a historic three-storey building at 38-46 Goose Gate, Nottingham.

The conversion will see the building become 100 student flats, despite a number of opposing views to the plans.

Clarendon Nottingham Ltd, a joint venture between Aon and Bmor, are behind the development. Commenting on the application last year, the head of planning at Bmore, James O'Brien, said: "The proposed development at Goose Gate is really exciting as it will see the retention and renovation of a historic Lace Market building, as well as improvements to the empty commercial space on Woolpack Lane, by removing the poor-quality extensions and replacing with a sympathetic, new building."

Now vacant, the three-storey building was formerly occupied as a bar and restaurant.

The Hockley building is thought to sit on the boundary of the Saxon town 'Snottengaham', which has raised concerns amongst locals.

One of the groups opposing the conversion is the Nottingham Civic Society. Hilary Silvester, a member of the society, condemned the project as it could reach 6-storeys in height. The society previously commented that the city was facing an 'architectural disaster' if the demolition of 'landmark' buildings continues.

Ms Silvester said: "The building would be oppressive on the rest of the street: it's too big, too tall, looms over and affects the character of that area.

"The design to build more floors is not in keeping with other buildings in the area, it's too angular. I would like to see the original character of the city retained, as that is gradually being eroded and existing buildings could be improved instead of some being demolished and being replaced with new ones or additions being built, as in other areas of Nottingham, too.

"With the amount of student housing in the city, we're approaching saturation point, any new planning application seems to be for student accommodation. I'm not saying anything negative about the students themselves or the two universities, as they do bring a lot of good to Nottingham as a city. But it does have a further impact on Nottingham when this kind of infrastructure is planned."

Medicine student, Tashin Sookparkob, 20, commented: "I would live there as the location is good and I currently live close by due to supermarkets being close. Anti-social behaviour and noise could be an issue as the street is loud anyway.

"I'm not into history personally so I don't mind about them extending on it. It would definitely help the economy as there are many flats close by and many students shop around here, but mainly people come here for food and drink."

Ali Squires, manager of the nearby coffee shop, Yolk, welcomed the plans but emphasised historic buildings should be protected. She stated: "It would do really good things for independent business but I think there are too many student places in Hockley. I think that building would benefit from more small businesses rather than student flats.

"It's not the right location being on a pedestrianised street as there are already three student flats being built around the area. I'm not worried about noise or anti-social behaviour because there are bars around here.

"Anything with character should be respected, a selection of independent businesses would do that whereas a big corporate company wouldn't.

"It is important to restore the history of it, Nottingham's already so historical with places like a Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham Castle and the caves and people are attracted to that which also brings a range of demographics to the area. As a local it feels like there are too many and they are cramming them into the city centre. It is good for businesses but it's not fulfilling the potential of the building."

Sophie Barker, a resident of Bestwood Park, added: "I didn't know it was a historical building but it's better to be put to use. They are old buildings around here, from what we've experienced we can only do so much with the store as the space is very limited and set out older than you'd typically get now.

"It would help businesses as our customers are students and the clothing donations are often from students when they move out of their flats, which is good for us as a charity shop."