Go-ahead for student flats plan

PROPOSALS for 59 flats on the site of the former Devonshire Arms pub off Ecclesall Road were given the go-ahead on Monday, despite neighbours saying they do not want more students on their doorstep.

Michael Watts, of the Hanover Tenants’ and Residents Association, told councillors: “The most important concern, in my opinion, is that students are a part of the population that do not have a reputation for being good neighbours.”

At the same time, he said residents were pleased the developers had agreed to change the plans, reducing part of the building from six storeys to four.

Brett Simpson-Lyons, partner at architects SLA Design, said the block of flats would bring significant improvements to the Hanover estate, including better footpaths, lighting and safety.

Planners said the scheme would increase the number of students in shared buildings in the area from 1% to 2.5%, against guidelines of a maximum of 20%, and would improve the appearance of the stretch of Ecclesall Road opposite the old Ward’s Brewery.

Councillors voted unanimously voted in favour but asked highways officers to draw up a management scheme to mitigate the effects of large numbers of students arriving on Ecclesall Road at the beginning of term.

Coun Peter Price said: “Clearly we can’t please everybody but it will tidy up the area. The developers have bent over backwards to work with the community.”