Plan to increase student flats in major Kenilworth development recommended for approval

An artist's impression of what the development could look like
An artist's impression of what the development could look like
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A plan to increase the number of student flats in a controversial new development in Talisman square has been recommended for approval despite several objections.

Developers Cobalt Estates, on behalf of Discovery Properties, want the building to have 121 bedrooms for students, as opposed to the 107 flats in the original plans, which were approved in December 2016.

Much of the space for the new bedrooms will be on the first floor of the building, part of which was originally going to be used as storage spaces for the five proposed ground-floor shops.

The height of the building is also set to be increased due to developers wanting to use a steel frame instead of a concrete structure during construction.

Warwick District Council’s planning committee will make a decision on the plans at a meeting on Tuesday January 9.

In their report, council officers said: “It is not considered that the proposed amendment to add 14 further student bedrooms to the development would now create a harmful over-concentration of student accommodation.”

But the amended plan has received plenty of objections.

Kenilworth Town Council took issue with the changes being described as ‘minor’, and felt the development would not be in keeping with the character of the area.

The town council was also worried about the loss of light that nearby shops would experience.

Objections were also received from Kenilworth residents.

Lesley Plant of Angless Way said: “The original is already an appalling massive block that is entirely out of keeping with the character of Kenilworth, and this amendment has not alleviated any of the issues.

“The retail areas, which are the only bit of this development that actually has any positive possibility for the town, have been reduced in size, and several now have no storage areas.”

And Dr Catherine Dallaway of Waverley Road said: “There is considerable loss of light for the shops on all sides of the development who will now exist in a gloomy corridor with a large imposing building in front of them.”

The original plans were also controversial.

Although the plans were put through by the district’s planning committee, no district councillors from Kenilworth voted in favour of them.

At the meeting in December 2016, planning chairman Cllr John Cooke said the plans were ‘greedy’, and added: “This application has used every possible centimetre of this site.”