Plans to convert two shops in Plungington into student accommodation are set to be rejected by councillors.Advertisement
A former hairdressers and tanning salon on Trafford Street could be changed into six appartments.
Fears over parking problems and noise have led local councillors and residents to petition the council to stop the development going ahead.
Councillors have been advised to throw the plans out to strengthen their case before the development goes to an appeal.
Moor Park councillor John Collins led a campaign by local residents to stop the plans, claiming it would add to existing parking problems in the area.
He said: “Too many houses are being used as student accommodation. There are insufficient parking spaces nearby and congestion could push more cars towards the busy artery of Plungington Road and potentially cause accidents.
“We also have concerns about late night music, partying and drinking at these properties. Rubbish and flytipping already occurs from existing students and would only be made worse.”
Lancashire County Council’s highways department has also called for the application to be rejected.
They claim the new flats would place “an unacceptable strain on the limited resources of the local network and will result in unecessary trips in congested residential roads as drivers search for a legal parking space.”
Their evidence to the committee said they saw cars parked completely on the pavement causing a danger to pedestrians and parents picking up children from nearby Eldon Street Primary School.
The first floor above the shops has already been made into student accommodation in 2001.
The woman behind the scheme, Barbara Shore, said the plans were sound and it was a good use of empty properties.
In a letter to the committee she wrote: “The shops have been available for rent without success for two years and one year respectively.
“The property has been available for the last ten years as two shops. Over this period a number of people have opened a business only to see it close within a few months due to lack of support from the community.
“Trafford Street is a side street off the main thoroughfare of Plunginton Road and does not benefit from the passing trade necessary to support a small business.”
Mrs Shore said the University of Central Lancashire was still expanding and the demand for private sector accommodation for students to rent is still very high.
The application – originally lodged in June 2011 by Mrs Shore – is already looking set to go to appeal, as she’s lodged an appeal with Planning Inspectors.
Councillors will make their decision at the council’s planning committee from 10am on Monday 6th February at the Town Hall. You can see the full plans on the council website.
Do you live in the area? What do you think about the plans? Is there too much student accommodation in Plungington? Let us know your views in the comments below