Northgate student housing application rejected

A planning application to turn the former government buildings in Northgate Street, Aberystwyth into student housing was rejected by 14 votes to 6 by Ceredigion Council's Development Control Committee today.

The committee rejected the application by Cantref Housing Association on the grounds that it was incompatible with the high number of elderly residents in the narrow streets around the building and because it would remove a potential employment site close to the town centre. Many local residents had objected. The building was partially occupied by a government passport office until four months ago.

Aberystwyth University had surprised some by not backing the scheme, despite the current student housing crisis. Instead, they aim to solve the crisis within two years by building environmentally-friendly accommodation for 1000 students next to the existing Pentre Jane Morgan student village at the top of Penglais Hill, where they say their accommodation can be better managed as a block.

In making the application, Cantref seemed to have moved from their core remit of providing housing for people on the local housing waiting list but without bringing the university on board with their plans. The University are hoping their application to extend Pentre Jane Morgan will be approved early in the new year.