Northgate student flats approved on appeal

Accommodation for 51 students at the former Crown Buildings in Northgate Street, Aberystwyth has been given the go-ahead after a Planning Inspector overturned the decision of Ceredigion’s Planning Committee which had rejected the application in December.

In a judgement released yesterday, the Inspector considered but rejected arguments put at a local hearing about loss of an employment site, planned provision of 1000 student beds on Clarach Road and concerns from local residents - some elderly - about late night noise. He concluded that employment use had been properly marketed without success, that the Clarach Road accommodation was still likely to fall short of the total student need and that residents were not entitled to assume disorderly behavior from students.

Although many local residents are dismayed at the decision, having put their views at the hearing on May 1st, it will be welcomed by the Guild of Students and shops in Northgate Street, an areas which has seen several shops close in the past couple of years.

The application, which was put by Cantref housing association, has been reduced from its original 61 places. Conditions imposed in the judgement include double glazing and other noise insulation, an out-of-hours call system and a warden on site from 6pm-7am.

I can e-mail a full copy of the Inspector's six-page judgement to anyone interested. Drop me a line at alunw@ceredigion.gov.uk