Controversial student digs scheme approved

The Advertiser Series: STUDENT DIGS: An artist's impression of Sheraton Park STUDENT DIGS: An artist's impression of Sheraton Park

RESIDENTS have lost their battle to stop £20m worth of student digs being developed in their quiet residential neighbourhood.

Families living on Sheraton Park in Neville’s Cross, Durham City, had hoped to thwart Alumno Development plans to build privately-run accommodation for nearly 400 students on the former New College Durham site.

But Durham county councillors sitting on the county planning committee turned a deaf ear to their pleas and yesterday (Tuesday, July 1) endorsed a recommendation by planning officers that the proposals be approved.

Sheraton House will now be demolished to make way for a new 191-bedroom block, while neighbouring Neville House will be turned into 233 bedrooms.

Addressing the meeting, resident and objector Richard Cookson said: “This proposal will have a major impact on our lives.

“We all bought our homes in Sheraton Park on the understanding that Sheraton House would be converted into residential flats. Together we have build up a flourishing family community.

“Due to clear provisions in the City of Durham Local Plan 2004, we felt confident the buildings would never be converted into student accommodation.

“Yet now we discover that our cohesive family community could be destroyed. This is a gross betrayal."

Calling for the plans to be rejected, Councillor Grenville Holland said: “We already have a surfeit of student beds in Durham city - far more than are needed to house the students in Durham University. "

Supporting the plans, Councillor David Boyes said: “To me it is a very good scheme. It is the redevelopment of a site is in desperate need of development. There will be 160 jobs on site and local jobs at that.”

As part of the development Alumno will invest £420,000 in a variety of local initiatives, including the provision of a public art project, new residential footpaths and the creation of substantial new parkland.

David Campbell, managing director of Alumno, said: “We are delighted by the decision.

"Our vision for this site will transform a huge blot on the Durham landscape into a sympathetic new development which will be more in keeping with standards across the rest of this area."

Comments (4)

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1:46pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Voice-of-reality says...

The new parkland should be a perfect venue for summer BBQs and parties on wednesday nights throughout the year. Public art will be a welcome distraction on the walk home from Klute at 2 in the morning and will no doubt prove to be very popular, depending on design, for copulating purposes or as something to lean against whilst disposing of the obligatory north-road kebab. Given where the development is, there is also ample room for parking - well beyond the 1 student car per household rule that is 'enforced' in the city centre. I fail to see what the residents could possibly be concerned about.
The new parkland should be a perfect venue for summer BBQs and parties on wednesday nights throughout the year. Public art will be a welcome distraction on the walk home from Klute at 2 in the morning and will no doubt prove to be very popular, depending on design, for copulating purposes or as something to lean against whilst disposing of the obligatory north-road kebab. Given where the development is, there is also ample room for parking - well beyond the 1 student car per household rule that is 'enforced' in the city centre. I fail to see what the residents could possibly be concerned about. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 7

4:31pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Susan Colclough says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
The new parkland should be a perfect venue for summer BBQs and parties on wednesday nights throughout the year. Public art will be a welcome distraction on the walk home from Klute at 2 in the morning and will no doubt prove to be very popular, depending on design, for copulating purposes or as something to lean against whilst disposing of the obligatory north-road kebab. Given where the development is, there is also ample room for parking - well beyond the 1 student car per household rule that is 'enforced' in the city centre. I fail to see what the residents could possibly be concerned about.
The planning committee in Durham is a farce. I witnessed first hand why out city has plans passed which have so much opposition. I now realise that the councillors in Durham City have no thought for the city or its residents and vote purely for political gain. Unfortunately it is the residents of the city that suffer. I will now be one of those residents. I really wonder how some councillors can sleep well at night when they reflect upon their actions

Susan Colclough
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: The new parkland should be a perfect venue for summer BBQs and parties on wednesday nights throughout the year. Public art will be a welcome distraction on the walk home from Klute at 2 in the morning and will no doubt prove to be very popular, depending on design, for copulating purposes or as something to lean against whilst disposing of the obligatory north-road kebab. Given where the development is, there is also ample room for parking - well beyond the 1 student car per household rule that is 'enforced' in the city centre. I fail to see what the residents could possibly be concerned about.[/p][/quote]The planning committee in Durham is a farce. I witnessed first hand why out city has plans passed which have so much opposition. I now realise that the councillors in Durham City have no thought for the city or its residents and vote purely for political gain. Unfortunately it is the residents of the city that suffer. I will now be one of those residents. I really wonder how some councillors can sleep well at night when they reflect upon their actions Susan Colclough Susan Colclough
  • Score: 15

4:44pm Wed 2 Jul 14

durhamchap says...

Durham Castle,Three Tuns PH and the pub in Waddington Street Accommodation blocks near the crem ,most of the properties on the Bailey and a lot of the properties in and around the city and now this.How many students are there in Durham ?
Durham Castle,Three Tuns PH and the pub in Waddington Street Accommodation blocks near the crem ,most of the properties on the Bailey and a lot of the properties in and around the city and now this.How many students are there in Durham ? durhamchap
  • Score: 9

11:03pm Wed 2 Jul 14

Durhamite1979 says...

Susan Colclough wrote:
Voice-of-reality wrote:
The new parkland should be a perfect venue for summer BBQs and parties on wednesday nights throughout the year. Public art will be a welcome distraction on the walk home from Klute at 2 in the morning and will no doubt prove to be very popular, depending on design, for copulating purposes or as something to lean against whilst disposing of the obligatory north-road kebab. Given where the development is, there is also ample room for parking - well beyond the 1 student car per household rule that is 'enforced' in the city centre. I fail to see what the residents could possibly be concerned about.
The planning committee in Durham is a farce. I witnessed first hand why out city has plans passed which have so much opposition. I now realise that the councillors in Durham City have no thought for the city or its residents and vote purely for political gain. Unfortunately it is the residents of the city that suffer. I will now be one of those residents. I really wonder how some councillors can sleep well at night when they reflect upon their actions

Susan Colclough
Because they don't give a sh1t.
[quote][p][bold]Susan Colclough[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: The new parkland should be a perfect venue for summer BBQs and parties on wednesday nights throughout the year. Public art will be a welcome distraction on the walk home from Klute at 2 in the morning and will no doubt prove to be very popular, depending on design, for copulating purposes or as something to lean against whilst disposing of the obligatory north-road kebab. Given where the development is, there is also ample room for parking - well beyond the 1 student car per household rule that is 'enforced' in the city centre. I fail to see what the residents could possibly be concerned about.[/p][/quote]The planning committee in Durham is a farce. I witnessed first hand why out city has plans passed which have so much opposition. I now realise that the councillors in Durham City have no thought for the city or its residents and vote purely for political gain. Unfortunately it is the residents of the city that suffer. I will now be one of those residents. I really wonder how some councillors can sleep well at night when they reflect upon their actions Susan Colclough[/p][/quote]Because they don't give a sh1t. Durhamite1979
  • Score: 3
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