Plans for Leamington canal side student flats re-submitted

CGI of the plans for the canal side area near Althorpe Street.
CGI of the plans for the canal side area near Althorpe Street.

Revised and re-submitted plans to build hundreds of student flats along the canal in South Leamington have been criticised for being “very similar” to previous proposals.

Business owners in the Althorpe Industrial Estate had teamed up under the name of Althorpe Street Developments to put forward the £30 million plans for the three blocks alongside the Grand Union Canal but the application to Warwick District Council was withdrawn earlier this year.

The proposals, which include accommodation for about 270 students and units for potential “retail, management services and employment use” on the ground floors, had proven to be controversial with more than 100 objections being made to the council.

Campaign group South Leamington Area Residents (SoLAR) refuted claims made by the developers that “the majority” of residents who attended the public consultation for the plans thought they are a “good idea”.

And of the new proposals, Brunswick ward Labour Party councillor Kristie Naimo said: “I can hardly believe the developers have the audacity to resubmitted a scheme so very similar to the previous one they withdrew only a couple of months ago

“What changes can they have made in this time that would make it more acceptable?

“The previous proposal for student housing had no support from either the local community or the council.

“The developer was told it would not be compliant with local policies for the area, which seek to protect this as employment land.

“The new application has not addressed the concerns raised previously - traffic objections, loss of employment and loss of the trees along the canal towpath.”

The developer was unavailable for comment on the latest application but it has previously said that the scheme would regenerate the site and benefit the wider area.

It said: “Purpose built student accommodation has the added benefit of reducing negative impact on residential areas.

“The scheme is supported by the Canal Side Trust and will activate a social canal side culture for local people and visitors to the area.

“It will provide vibrant workspace facilities for new, small and growing businesses with bright, flexible space.

“Meeting rooms, adaptable accommodation for business, social and cultural events will all feed into the canal side becoming a creative hub for innovation.”

The application W/19/0505 is on the council’s website.