Green light for student flats to replace city pub

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COUNCILLORS have approved plans for 59 new flats on the edge of a Sheffield council estate - despite residents’ complaints that they do not want more students living in their community.

Developers were yesterday given planning permission to erect a new building on the site of the old Devonshire Arms pub on Ecclesall Road, just in front of the Hanover estate in Broomhall.

Michael Watts, of the Hanover Tenants’ and Residents Association, told Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board he was worried about more students moving into the area.

“The most important concern, in my opinion, is that students are a part of the population that do not have a reputation for being good neighbours,” he said.

Mr Watts added residents were pleased the developers had agreed to change the plans, reducing part of the building from six storeys to four.

Brett Simpson-Lyons, partner at architects SLA Design, said the 59 flats - designed in 12 clusters in a single block - would bring significant improvements to the Hanover estate, including better footpaths, lighting and safety.

He quoted reader comments from The Star’s website in support of his plans, including one reader who said: “That end of Ecclesall Road is hardly picturesque, and there’s already a six-storey building on the other side of the road.”

Planning officer Chris Heeley said the scheme would raise the number of students living in shared buildings in the area from one per cent to 2.5 per cent. Council planning policy tries to limit the proportion of students to 20 per cent in any part of the city.

The nine members of the planning board unanimously voted to back the plans, but asked highways officers to draw up a management scheme to mitigate the effects of large numbers of students arriving on Ecclesall Road at the beginning of term.

Coun Peter Price said: “Clearly we can’t please everybody but it will tidy up the area. The developers have bent over backwards to work with the community.”

n £52m student village plan: page 11.