‘Appalling’ Victorian buildings in St Ann’s will be demolished to create ‘enlightening’ new apartments

A ‘dreadful’ row of Victorian buildings will be demolished to make way for hundreds of new apartments. The old buildings in Union Street, St Ann’s will be replaced by a pair of five- and six-storey towers, after plans were approved by Nottingham City Council on June 8.

The two new student accommodation buildings, placed on Union Road and St Marks Street, would contain 139 and 110 studios respectively. Some locals were excited about the future of the collection of old industrial buildings, which would also provide a common courtyard between the new buildings and underground parking.

Michael Nelson, 65, was keen to praise the idea, which he said would “light up” the area. “That would be a great idea, it would brighten the place up and light it up a bit,” Nelson said.

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“It seems like the most promising idea for this building, which has been empty for a few years now. It could be demolishing and tidying up, as it sits on the boundary between St Ann’s and Nottingham city center .

“It would breathe some life back into Aldi. I would recommend it as something that would improve the area.”

Paul Williams, 49, of St Ann’s, said: “I would be fine with it being put away but I would rather not lose the heritage of the older buildings. It’s an eyesore at the minute and nothing happens with it, I can’t remember the last time there was someone in there.

“I think having students here has made the neighborhood safer and has pushed the city center further. But I would like some parts of the old buildings to be saved, but if that can’t be done, I’d rather that it be destroyed down and replaced with something that people would use.”

The old buildings on Union Street will be replaced by a pair of five- and six-story towers

Planning permission was granted in October 2019 for Phase 1 of the development elsewhere in the street, which would see the construction of five cluster apartments (50 beds). Amended plans were approved in January 2020, increasing the number of rooms to 58.

Others, however, did not like the fact that there was more student accommodation in the city. Sandra McCoy, who lives in St Ann’s, added: “There’s too much in the town. There’s no need, why not bring in more social housing or even build a supermarket to compete with Tesco.

“We need things that meet the needs of the people of St Ann’s. I would really like something that more people could use, it’s not just the students.”

Dave Liversidge, St Ann’s for Labor ward councilor on City Council, and Hilary Silvester, executive chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, have previously criticized what they see as a ‘wall’ of student accommodation. They were both against the new plans.

“I think we don’t need even more student flats. If something could be built there that local residents could use, that would be great,” Mr Liversidge said.

“If they could tear it down and build another place that Aldi or a Lidl could rent, that would be better. There’s little in this part of St Ann’s.”

Ms Silvester added: “It depends on the impact on the street scene, hopefully it won’t contribute to the cutting wall of St Ann’s. High rise buildings are not appropriate and five or six floors are at the limit of what is acceptable, I think.

“We wouldn’t want to destroy Victorian buildings if it were possible to convert them. It’s better for buildings to be reused than to build new ones.”

In a planning document, Zenith Planning and Design, on behalf of the applicant Environment Design Consultants, said: “The proposal will fulfill an economic role by advancing the development of a vacant brownfield and providing employment during the construction phase. .

“It will fulfill an economic and social role by accommodating students who will then benefit from local facilities: local shops, drinking establishments, restaurants and hot meals to take away, leisure facilities. It will fulfill an environmental role by improving the appearance of a poor quality site through the construction of well-designed buildings that will improve the appearance of the street scene. »

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