Plans for a new complex of student flats at Chesford Bridge House between Leamington Spa and Kenilworth have been brought forward.
The proposer, Vik Tara, has asked Warwick District Council for permission to build on rural land by Bericote Road in Blackdown. Five eco-buildings will be built with 10 flats, including bedrooms for 100 students. The rooms will also come with ensuite bathrooms.
A statement concerning the need for accommodation said: “The applicant (Vik Tara) considers the proposed development at Blackdown to be ideally located to deliver effective and sustainable student accommodation.”
Construction plans show 70 car parking places that are accessed from Bericote Road. The location is also near a bus stop with routes into Coventry’s city centre, Leamington, Kenilworth and the University.
The property search website, Zoopla, has an estimation indicating that the 100-bedroom student complex would be available for over £1 million. This is with other estimates of £312 council tax and a monthly total over £3,000.
However, the growing student population around Leamington Spa has brought some objections to the council.
There are no exceptional circumstances in this application to justify building student accommodation on this site.
Michael Jeff, of the Warwickshire branch of ‘Campaign to Protect Rural England’
Michael Jeff, of the Warwickshire branch of ‘Campaign to Protect Rural England’ (CPRE), told the Leamington Observer: “The site is in the narrow Green Belt between Kenilworth and Leamington Spa and we believe it must be protected for generations to come.”
He added: “There are no exceptional circumstances in this application to justify building student accommodation on this site.”
Local residents from Ashow village and Hill Wootton have also objected to the plans.
One resident, who spoke to the Leamington Courier, was worried about an increase in busy transportation links.
“There are insufficient local services to support a population of 100 students.”
They continued: “There is no demand for such accommodation in this area, and the implications for access and for traffic are horrendous.”
Another resident spoke to the Leamington Observer with environment and landscape concerns.
It’s good because there seems to be less accommodation for students as people have had to share rooms this year.
Dammy Sokale, third-year Law and Business student
“This is a wholly inappropriate proposal which would spoil one of the last remaining pieces of attractive open countryside in the Leamington and Kenilworth areas.”
They added: “The countryside is not the right place for large numbers of students to make their home, when every day to day requirement – whether commuting to university, shopping, working or socialising – would involve a journey to Leamington or Coventry.”
However, students of Warwick University express a different view.
Dammy Sokale, a third-year Law and Business student commented: “It’s good because there seems to be less accommodation for students as people have had to share rooms this year.”
Flore Postel-Vinay, a second-year Maths and Philosophy student said: “It’s always good to have more student accommodation available since it’s always a battle to get a house early.”
She added: “It’s a question as to whether people are willing to live in the middle of nowhere.”