Thursday, 17 August 2017

Benjy's Towers - Planning Permission REFUSED again

The application to build on the former Benjy's site has tonight been refused planning permission with six councillors voting to reject the proposals and with one abstention.

In February, and again in April, committee members were minded not to support officer recommendations for the following reasons:

1. Height, bulk and massing and impact on townscape
2. Density and overdevelopment of the site
3. The servicing provision
4. Loss of the community facility
5. Design of the proposal
6. Air Quality issues

Tonight the refusal was for much the same reasons (except for item 4 - see later) and it was apparent the new proposals in no way addressed these pre-existing concerns.

The new proposal's main difference is that it makes provision for relocating the Backstreet nightclub into the basement of the new development. Whilst this was largely welcomed (Backstreet has existed on the site for over 20 years without a problem), this new element of the scheme introduced new concerns relating to a nightclub and homes being literally on top of each other.

So what now?

As ever we will have to wait and see the exact wording of the decision, but I suspect the developers will launch an official appeal and I think it is likely the mix of accommodation will change to fewer family homes and more 1-bedroom and studio flats. I wouldn't be surprised if the next scheme to go to the planners is one for student accommodation.


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