Councillors have voted down a ‘completely unacceptable’ proposal to build three, four and five-storey student accommodation buildings in York.
At a planning committee meeting on July 6, councillors debated whether to approve the plans for 136 student rooms at the former Enterprise Rent-a-car building in Foss Islands Road.
Concerns were raised over the safety, inclusivity and potential overdevelopment of the site, as well as the high concentration of cars that would gather in the residential area.
Cllr Paula Widdowson raised her concerns over the number of cars congregating near a main road, saying: “You’ve got 136 students potentially living in there.
“That’s 136 probably parents with their children, who are students, coming at the start of term and the end of term.”
Applicant Graham Connell said: “A programme is set up which allocates students times to turn up, drop off and for the parents to go away again and that’s calculated so over the space of a weekend, everybody can be accommodated.”
Cllr Widdowson said: “I’ve got two daughters that have been to university, I know vaguely how the system works.
“I have never seen or dropped them off or picked them up from anywhere that has got such limited space.”
She described the parking facilities as “completely inadequate.”
Cllr Tony Fisher said: “I did a quick back of the envelope calculation and I reckon it will take 49 hours of time.
“I don’t think you’re going to fit that into two weekends unless they’re going to come at night as well.
“I share coun Widdowson’s views that the amount of space for loading and unloading of luggage is completely unacceptable.”
Cllr Conrad Whitcroft said: “Students bring a real dynamism and something fresh to our city and I think that’s fantastic.”
However, he said the issue of parking and the impact that had on nearby residents remained a “bugbear” for him.
He added: “There will be an increased use of private vehicles.
“That is my concern and how that’s going to impact the rest of the area regarding parking remains the stickler for me.”
The plans were refused with just one councillor voting against a refusal.
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