Neighbours oppose plan for new flats in Knighton, Leicester, to be let to non-students into
A developer which converted a pub into flats for students is now asking for permission to also let them to non-students.
But people living near the converted Manchester pub, in Knighton, Leicester, have objected to the proposal, saying non-students were more likely to have cars and would, therefore, create parking problems in the area.
Holmfield New Home Ltd was given permission to convert the pub into 70 flats last year, provided they were used by students.
Now, the company is seeking permission from Leicester city council planners to let the rooms out to non-students, after saying it had failed to secure tenants for almost half the rooms.
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Residents said they would not be happy for non-students to move into the flats, on the corner of Knighton Fields Road East and Burns Street.
In a letter to the planning committee, Elaine Robinson, of Knighton Fields Road East, said: "If the units are let to non-students, these occupants, we believe, would be even more likely to be car owners and, therefore, the problem of parking would become an even more major issue than it already is.
"We also cannot imagine that non-student residents would desire to share a building partly occupied by students, with all the associated noise and mess that students have a reputation for.
"It would have been far better if this development had not gone ahead in the first place and some affordable housing for first-time buyers had been built instead."
Planners have recommended the council's development control committee approves the change of conditions.
A decision will be made at a meeting on Wednesday.
According to the agenda for the meeting, 37 of the 70 available rooms have been reserved or filled by students, who are due to move in this week.
The building has 14 parking spaces.
Twelve people have objected to the plans to lease the rooms to non-students.
A letter signed by 10 residents of Burns Street said: "Car parking for 14 cars was allowed.
"Clearly, this will not be adequate for mixed-use housing and car parking provision is inadequate.
"Cars will occupy already crowded streets.
"The development was built for students and not intended for year-round occupation by non-students."
In a statement to the council, Holmfield New Homes said a letting agent had been appointed to lease the rooms but potential student tenants had been put off by the distance to the university – despite it being less than a mile away.
"The principal issue is the distance from the university campuses and the lack of association with other student accommodation," the statement said.
"To avoid the premises being empty on completion, the removal of the student occupancy restriction is sought."
In a report to the council's development control committee, a planning department spokesman said: "The applicant has confirmed that both non-student and student contracts will contain clauses restricting occupiers of the development bringing cars to the site.
"They consider they are able to manage the situation in this way and make best use of the 14 car parking spaces that are available. Of these, only two of the incoming occupiers have expressed an interest."
The officers said they recommended approving the change of use.
RG and P, in New Walk, Leicester, the agent for the developer, said: "Holmfield New Homes is keen to maintain a positive relationship with residents and this extends to managing the tenants so as to avoid them causing parking problems for existing neighbours.
"A parking management plan is used to discourage car ownership and advise tenants of how to park responsibly, and of their public transport, walking and cycling options."