Skyscraper bid moves forward
DEVELOPERS BEHIND 38-STOREY BUILDING PLANS HOPE TO AGREE DESIGN WITHIN WEEKS
AN update has been issued as plans progress for a 38-storey block of student accommodation in Nottingham.
The planned construction of a 38-storey skyscraper at the former Base 51 site off Huntingdon Street and Glasshouse Street, next to the Victoria Centre, would be the city’s largest building by far.
The Victoria Works development would tower above the Victoria Centre flats, which is currently the tallest building in Nottingham at just over 20 stories, and house more than 1,500 students.
While a planning application has not been submitted yet, Code Students, which operates “luxury” student accommodation in Leicester and Coventry and revealed the plan in March 2021, has now said it is looking to agree with the council on the designs in coming weeks.
A spokesperson for Code Students said: “Since the submission of the scoping request to the council in February 2021, Code have commissioned all the necessary reports required for a planning application and have submitted a formal preapplication enquiry to the council.
“Since the beginning of this year, Code have been in discussions with the council and design review panel in respect of the building design.
“The site is one of only a few in Nottingham city where the council’s urban design guide has suggested a tall building is appropriate (subject to design) and Code very much hope that over the coming weeks an agreement can be reached with the city council in respect of the design.
“At that point, Code will be running a full public consultation to allow local people to feedback on the proposal to help shape the final planning application.
“As soon as we are at this stage, we will fully publicise the consultation to allow local people to get involved.”
Despite Code Students’ assertion the site had been classed as being an appropriate location for a large building, Hilary Silvester, executive chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, was not pleased with the scale of the plans.
“It is going to block out a lot of Nottingham’s historic skyline,” she said.
“The historic signature of Nottingham
is that it sits in a basin which gives a dramatic view for anyone looking across the city centre. “From a historic point of view, this building would block out the view of NTU’S Newton Building, which isn’t too old but is important to the skyline – and it would impact other landmarks too. “Enough is enough and it’s not just conservation groups saying that – the citizens of Nottingham are feeling that too. “It’s way too big and there will be an enormous amount of people coming with this enormous building. “It’s all too much, really over the top for Nottingham – we are not London. “It’s adding to the wall cutting off the suburbs like the Meadows in the south and St Ann’s and Sneinton in the east.” Some locals however, did think the development could bring benefits to the city. John Shelton, 50, who works as a painter, said: “I think that would look quite impressive and striking if it happens.
“I don’t really see why not. A lot of people moan, but I don’t mind seeing progress in the city.
“What would you rather look at, a patch of rubble or a big tower.
“What can the council do if no-one else wants to build anything else there – just wait forever?
“For the city as well, students bring a lot of money. After Covid I think we could do with getting a load more people into the city centre to go to the shops.”
Ahmed Osman, 37, who works as a software engineer, said: “I think any investments are good and it could become a landmark.
“But at the same time if the design is bad it could become a huge eyesore.
“From my first six months in Nottingham I think it is expanding very quickly and a lot of buildings are going up.
“I don’t know how much more it can take really. A lot of people are coming here, but if the services come with it, that’s fine.”
A Nottingham resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I have no problem with students, but it does seem a bit much.
“But people moan about family homes being used as flats by students, and these big towers could help with that I guess.
“It’s about having a balance that suits the majority of people.”
The site is one of only a few in Nottingham where the council’s urban design guide has suggested a tall building is appropriate.
Code Students spokesperson