CAMPAIGNERS are preparing to fight plans to build more student accommodation in Leamington’s Old Town.
Alumno Developments, a specialist student housing company, is looking to create a development of around 200 rooms in the Althorpe Street area.
They are hoping to build on the site, which currently houses an old warehouse, and is next to the Grand Union Canal just off Clemens Street, alongside Althorpe Enterprise Hub and Waterside Medical Centre.
Although they are yet to submit a formal planning application, the company held a public consultation event earlier this month in a bid to gauge locals’ opinion.
But the plans have already come under fire from recently formed group Char-mont Residents, who say they would spell disaster for people living locally.
The group, which is made up of residents in Charlotte Street and Claremont Road, are concerned about the already high numbers of students living in the area during term time.
They also argue the canalside is a much-valued part of Leamington Old Town and the construction of a five storey building would be an eyesore.
Campaigners have raised concerns wildlife could be endangered by the proposed structure, which they maintain would cut off the canal from sunlight.
But one of their biggest fears is the potential parking issues that could be caused were the plans to be given the go-ahead.
Under Alumno’s initial plans, there is no provision to provide parking for tenants.
They say this will discourage students from bringing cars but residents are worried this will not be the case and will lead not only to cars being parked in surrounding streets but will add to the already traffic-choked roads.
David Campbell, Managing Director of Alumno, said: “There is a lot of demand for good quality student accommodation in Leamington and we believe that a purpose-built development will help free-up homes for families and local people.
“We want to be good neighbours by bringing new life to this part of the canalside.”
Alumno say if the proposals go ahead the development would have 24-hour on-site management to ensure residents had a point of contact to deal with any problems.
Thousands of students attending the University of Warwick live in Leamington during term time – a considerable number in the Old Town area.
And although they provide a boost for the local economy, students have also been the focus of a number of problems – ranging from noise to rubbish.