Developer loses appeal against rejection of student flats plan
RESIDENTS have fought off plans to move more students into their street.
Work to convert a former care home into 17 student rooms was brought to an abrupt halt last summer. Plymouth City Council's planning committee firmly rejected a retrospective application to convert a property in Mutley into 17 student flats.
The developer had already started converting the property at 7-9 Seaton Avenue, Mutley, without planning permission when it was brought to the committee.
Now Russell Hooper, of Brunswick Ltd, has lost his appeal against the decision.
Government planning inspector Douglas Machin said the management arrangements were insufficient to prevent unacceptable noise and disturbance for residents of Seaton Avenue.
Mr Machin said in his decision notice: "I share the concern of local residents that the scale of the proposal has the potential to generate noise and disturbance that would be out of character with the avenue."
David May, who lives next door to the former care home, spoke at last year's planning meeting. Mr May said yesterday: "It's significant that the inspector has recognised the noise and disturbance to communities caused by unmanaged student housing.
"Seventeen students next door having a party could easily turn into 100.
"Council planners need to establish proper guidelines for the percentage of student housing in residential streets."
Compton councillor Richard Ball said: "We are delighted that the planning committee decision has been upheld.
"Putting student homes next door to families is wrong. They just lead different lives."
He said the right place for student accommodation was in purpose-built blocks in the city centre and close to the university.
"Young people want to spread their wings, and I don't want to stop them doing that. But put them in a separate place.
"We are building good student accommodation which will bring life and vibrancy into the city centre."
His fellow Conservative ward councillor, Ted Fry, said: "This is an example of councillors working for local people and supporting their needs and wishes.
"The way forward is that we want to have a meeting and let the developer know that local residents don't want student accommodation."
Cllr Ball said the Seaton Avenue building would be better suited to being converted into quality flats.
Earlier, Cllr Fry said the change would have meant the proportion of houses in multiple occupation in the street would rise to 37per cent.
The Herald was unable to contact Mr Hooper for a comment yesterday.