Plans for 850-bed student halls in Durham approved

Banks Group has been given outline planning permission for student accommodation near Mount Oswald, in Durham. Credit: Google

Plans for an 850-bed block of student accommodation have been approved in a university city.

Residents voiced fears over an influx of student accommodation in Durham, where there have been long running concerns about the growth in the number of people studying in the city, and where they live.

Meanwhile, Durham University students have also protested about a lack of affordable options in the city.

Members of Durham County Council’s planning committee approved an outline application for the new student halls on empty land near Mount Oswald, on the former golf club site.

An initial layout of the site shows 11 buildings of varying size and height, and it is thought the majority of beds would be provided within "cluster flats" of between five and ten bedrooms. There would also be a "small number" of "studio apartments and/or town houses" in the scheme.

Applicant Banks Group will now draw up detailed designed for the site.

A previous similar application was approved by the council in May 2017 but has since expired.

Nearby residents voiced concerns about the potential for late night disturbances while councillors were told neighbours have "deep and valid concerns" about the plans.

Banks Group said the new halls will allow for city centre housing to be freed up for local families.

The proposed site for student accommodation catering for 850 people. Credit: Google

“Without these buildings that number of students would have been imposed upon residential areas of the city, as well as the city centre, in the form of houses in multiple occupation or smaller ad hoc student developments,” a statement read.

“The solution of purpose built student accommodation in its own grounds close to the campus is good for the students and good for the residents of Durham city.”

Councillors approved the outline planning application, with further details on the scheme expected in the future.

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