Building that housed a church to be converted into student housing

A building that served as a church is being converted into student housing after a builder argued thousands more student beds were needed across the city.

Applicant Crowndale Properties applied to the City Council to convert the first and second floors of a building on Thurland Street into 26 studio apartments.

The building was home to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), an evangelical Christian denomination that originated in Brazil.

The church has now moved to Lower Parliament Street, Nottingham.

The applicant wrote that if the City Council wanted to reduce the number of students in HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) in residential areas, more purpose-built student housing (PBSA) should be approved.

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They said that compared to neighboring cities in the Midlands and the UK as a whole, Nottingham has an above-average number of students living in shared flats.

Planning documents presented by Crowndale Properties are intended to meet student demand in the city, the University of Nottingham will need 5,104 more beds and Nottingham Trent will need 624 more based on the 2020/21 student population.

Nottingham City Council approved the plans for the studio flats on 15 August.

“The need for UoN is greater, but the need for NTU remains significant – the proposal reduces the need by 26 places,” they said.

They argued that Nottingham has the fourth largest full-time student population in the UK and that the city has seen the largest increase in full-time student population of any city in the UK in recent years, with student numbers increasing by 23 per cent compared to 2015. 16 to 2019/20.

Planning documents added: “Needs will increase if council wants to reduce family housing occupancy further than regional/national averages – more space will also be needed if student enrollments continue to increase. This analysis also assumes that the entire pipeline is built.

“The reuse of existing buildings is a growing ‘movement’ that recognizes that not only does the use of buildings create carbon emissions, but the construction of buildings also makes a significant contribution.

“Where it is possible to spatially and functionally reuse an existing building, even if the resulting building may suffer some degradation and/or the remodeling work may be extensive, this may be preferable from a carbon emissions perspective. It also has a less disruptive effect on the functioning of the site’s surroundings through a shorter construction time with less impact.”

The applicant said the site was “well located” with access to supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and the Nottingham Trent University campus.

They said the rooms have “generous windows” and are “not subject to excessive shade or overwhelming influence from adjacent structures.”

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