The proposed development at Eveleigh House, Grove Street

Under 20/01466/ODCOU the applicant, Rengen-Longacre, was granted consent for a change of use from B1a (office) to C3 (housing) under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015, Part 3 Class O. Little information was provided in the application and there was minimal consultation. Some existing office space is to be retained and around 48 ‘one bed studio apartments’ are to be provided. The attached link from EISIS, a member of the development team, though not the applicant, describes the accommodation to be provided as ‘student accommodation’ and the number of units appears to have increased to 54.

Adjoining Eveleigh House to the north are two apartment buildings, Caxton Court and Northanger Court, containing some 55 apartments which are mainly occupied by elderly and retired people, all of whom are TARA members. There is a history of night time disturbances on Grove Street and substantial pressure on the limited on-street parking available. The designation of student housing as sui generis in land use terms was, of course, made for good reason. Student housing typically has a high population density and is associated with high levels of late night noise and disturbance. In addition, many students these days own and drive cars.

We recognize, of course, that the applicant in this case may be offering a product intended to attract a broad segment of the market including students. However student housing typically has certain specific characteristics which can include an emphasis on single bed spaces, showers rather then baths, durable finishes and equipment as well as shared facilities such as common rooms and laundry facilities. We believe it would be appropriate for the Council, as Local Planning Authority, to request more detailed information from the applicant to ensure that the Permitted Development consent which he has been granted is being implemented in accordance with the regulations, and to consider enforcement action if this proves not to be the case.’