PROPOSALS to build more student flats alongside the canal in Leamington Old Town have been refused.
The application – a revision of proposals put forward last year – was for a four-storey building on a scrap metal yard in Wise Street offering accommodation for some 200 students.
A number of objectors highlighted the development would breach Warwick District Council’s policy on the level of HMOs (Housing in Multiple Occupancy) within an area – and the authority’s planning committee agreed in voting against the application.
Kristie Naimo, district ward councillor for Brunswick, spoke against the application at Tuesday’s planning meeting.
She said: “The council are in the process of designating the canal as a conservation area so that important canalside sites are protected and enhanced through appropriate means. These will hopefully determine the kinds of development we want here.
“Let’s give our officers time to develop these policies in order to properly plan our communities rather than responding to developers’ whims.”
Coun Naimo added the council was also developing a student housing strategy looking at spreading it throughout the district rather than it being concentrated in a single area such as south Leamington.
Reasons cited in favour of the project were regeneration of the area and the freeing-up of residential homes elsewhere.
Thousands of students attending the University of Warwick live in Leamington during term time and a considerable number of these are in the Old Town area.
In 2012 Station House was built opposite the railway station providing purpose-built accommodation for some 400 students, and The Union on Althorpe Street is home to nearly 200 students.