Council opposes student flats bid

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Buckingham Town councillors came out against an application to build 57 student rooms in Chandos Road, at a meeting last Monday.

The town council’s planning committee voted unanimously to oppose the application for 57 student rooms within eight self-contained flats on the site of the former bungalow, Fir Cottage.

The application by W.E. Black builders, of Chesham, is a variation on a previous planning permission for the demolition of Fir Cottage and the erection of a block of 12 apartments, which was granted in 2009. The bungalow has since been demolished.

Members of the town council’s planning committee were very concerned about the impact of extra traffic on the already congested Chandos Road, and felt the proposed provision of 12 car parking spaces was inadequate.

Members asked for a traffic survey to be conducted. They also agreed the building was too large for its site and too near the road, with a dominant roofscape, and was was not well related to the two-storey buildings each side of it. It was felt it would have a detrimental effect on the conservation area and the street scene in general, and the upper storeys would overlook neighbouring properties.

University of Buckingham vice-chancellor Terence Kealey said: “The university supports the application, though it is not actually an application from the university. We were asked by the developers about the traffic effects of the development, which, if the accommodation was used by students, would be minimal. In general, students don’t own cars and we have our own car park nearby which we could require students to use.

“We are anxious to house our extra students on campus – this new building would be part of our campus – and we very much hope this application will be supported.”