Green light to turn gas offices into student flats

Green light to turn gas offices into student flats

Green light to turn gas offices into student flats

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to convert former British Gas offices in Southampton into student flats alongside a new 16-storey student tower have been approved.

Councillors voted narrowly in favour of approving the application by Liberty Living, which would see the number of university students housed at Orion’s Point in St Mary’s double to 854.

Residents in Newtown and St Mary’s, who organised a campaign of opposition to the proposals, said they were “extremely disappointed”.

Other plans to be submitted in coming weeks for the former Co-op car park site at 60 to 64 St Mary’s Place next to Charlotte Place could see a further 700 new students flats built.

The site was previously earmarked for an ice rink by local developer Colin Warburg but he was out-bid by another developer.

Nazrul Chaudhery, chairman of Charlotte Place Campaign Group, said they were not opposed to existing offices being converted to student accomodation but they were “strongly opposed” to the new tower block.

“It is not in keeping with the existing buildings and is clear overdevelopment of the area,” he said, predicting an increase in antisocial behaviour.

Labour ward councillors opposed the development while residents also raised fears for community relations and an increase in parking congestion.

Planners said student residents would be barred from getting parking permits, although they could park on surrounding streets after 6pm.

Under the plans the 12-storey British Gas offices in Dorset Street, being closed with the loss of 500 jobs, will be converted into student flats, while additional rooms will also be created at neighbouring blocks, where 423 students already live.

The new 16-storey high-rise will offer 154 new beds across a mix of studio apartments and shared flats. The plans will reduce the number of parking spaces from 71 to six and increase cycle racks from 96 to 312.

A new supermarket could also be built under the flats. Three or four staff in addition to the current five will be employed to cope with the added influx.

As part of the works a new security fence and secure pedestrian entrances will be created.

Comments (13)

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12:22pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Scott_OOOSH says...

And here come the comments from everybody that knows what's best for this city....
And here come the comments from everybody that knows what's best for this city.... Scott_OOOSH
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Wed 17 Oct 12

sarfhamton says...

Hey, its better than it sitting idle!

I went to Plymouth last week and its has whole derelict streets.

Its a shame to lose jobs but at least the building will be put to use.
Hey, its better than it sitting idle! I went to Plymouth last week and its has whole derelict streets. Its a shame to lose jobs but at least the building will be put to use. sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Of the Ilk says...

If students are housed in purpose built accommodation, then the houses used by studnets at the moment can be returned to family housing.
If students are housed in purpose built accommodation, then the houses used by studnets at the moment can be returned to family housing. Of the Ilk
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Wed 17 Oct 12

sarfhamton says...

Of the Ilk wrote:
If students are housed in purpose built accommodation, then the houses used by studnets at the moment can be returned to family housing.
Good point, any new housing in the city is a good thing
[quote][p][bold]Of the Ilk[/bold] wrote: If students are housed in purpose built accommodation, then the houses used by studnets at the moment can be returned to family housing.[/p][/quote]Good point, any new housing in the city is a good thing sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Brusher Mills says...

Love this quote '“It is not in keeping with the existing buildings and is clear overdevelopment of the area,”

The area is already an overdeveloped eyesore, this new building will improve it and looks better than the existing buildings. Better than waste ground I can imagine local shop owners don't like the idea of the supermarket.
Love this quote '“It is not in keeping with the existing buildings and is clear overdevelopment of the area,” The area is already an overdeveloped eyesore, this new building will improve it and looks better than the existing buildings. Better than waste ground I can imagine local shop owners don't like the idea of the supermarket. Brusher Mills
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Wed 17 Oct 12

999medic says...

The whole area is already an eyesore. To redevelop this are would be great even into student flats, at least this will generate income for local shops pubs clubs etc. other landlords won't like the idea of it being built, because of the derelict buildings they rent out as houses, ( and yes trust me I know what I'm talking about) will lose revenue. They really need to improve the traffic through systems though as its a nightmare at present along with the rest of the city.
The whole area is already an eyesore. To redevelop this are would be great even into student flats, at least this will generate income for local shops pubs clubs etc. other landlords won't like the idea of it being built, because of the derelict buildings they rent out as houses, ( and yes trust me I know what I'm talking about) will lose revenue. They really need to improve the traffic through systems though as its a nightmare at present along with the rest of the city. 999medic
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Wed 17 Oct 12

mellowdude says...

"predicting an increase in antisocial behaviour."

Has Nazrul Chaudhery or anyone fpr that matter got any statistics to prove that an increase in students in an area correlates to a increase in antisocial behaviour?

I hear this argument used to try and stop things like this from happening, but I never see any proof in the form of statistics.
"predicting an increase in antisocial behaviour." Has Nazrul Chaudhery or anyone fpr that matter got any statistics to prove that an increase in students in an area correlates to a increase in antisocial behaviour? I hear this argument used to try and stop things like this from happening, but I never see any proof in the form of statistics. mellowdude
  • Score: 0

5:03pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Niel says...

999medic wrote:
The whole area is already an eyesore. To redevelop this are would be great even into student flats, at least this will generate income for local shops pubs clubs etc. other landlords won't like the idea of it being built, because of the derelict buildings they rent out as houses, ( and yes trust me I know what I'm talking about) will lose revenue. They really need to improve the traffic through systems though as its a nightmare at present along with the rest of the city.
The slum land-lords are coining it in at the moment, reading online about the Sahota clan's operations, failure to return deposits etc, whilst swanning around in top brand cars. It reminds me of my friends problems when attending the Uni in the 80's, the house in derby road was falling down, he and his fellow students ended up doing most of the repairs, yet they still lost their deposits. So anything that cause's pain to the slum operators is a good thing.
[quote][p][bold]999medic[/bold] wrote: The whole area is already an eyesore. To redevelop this are would be great even into student flats, at least this will generate income for local shops pubs clubs etc. other landlords won't like the idea of it being built, because of the derelict buildings they rent out as houses, ( and yes trust me I know what I'm talking about) will lose revenue. They really need to improve the traffic through systems though as its a nightmare at present along with the rest of the city.[/p][/quote]The slum land-lords are coining it in at the moment, reading online about the Sahota clan's operations, failure to return deposits etc, whilst swanning around in top brand cars. It reminds me of my friends problems when attending the Uni in the 80's, the house in derby road was falling down, he and his fellow students ended up doing most of the repairs, yet they still lost their deposits. So anything that cause's pain to the slum operators is a good thing. Niel
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Wed 17 Oct 12

sotonboy84 says...

sarfhamton wrote:
Of the Ilk wrote: If students are housed in purpose built accommodation, then the houses used by studnets at the moment can be returned to family housing.
Good point, any new housing in the city is a good thing
Houses would need to be sold or the for the landlord to refurbish them to a high enough standard for people to want to rent. Some of the houses are vile and it's surprising what they can get away with letting.

Look at areas like Portswood and Polygon. It's sad to see such lovely houses destroyed but I think it has gone a little too far and they're too run down to bring the areas up to anything near the standard they were. There should have been rules years ago to stop it but there wasn't.

The only way to redevelop this area now is to flatten it to the ground and start over!
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Of the Ilk[/bold] wrote: If students are housed in purpose built accommodation, then the houses used by studnets at the moment can be returned to family housing.[/p][/quote]Good point, any new housing in the city is a good thing[/p][/quote]Houses would need to be sold or the for the landlord to refurbish them to a high enough standard for people to want to rent. Some of the houses are vile and it's surprising what they can get away with letting. Look at areas like Portswood and Polygon. It's sad to see such lovely houses destroyed but I think it has gone a little too far and they're too run down to bring the areas up to anything near the standard they were. There should have been rules years ago to stop it but there wasn't. The only way to redevelop this area now is to flatten it to the ground and start over! sotonboy84
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Wed 17 Oct 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Blair conned the nation with his seductive slogan of “Education, education and education”. But his NuLabour’s ward councillors of the area concerned appear to have joined the student bashing brigade. They have opposed possibility of decent accommodation for students by showing solidarity with shark landlords, many of whom are full of prejudice against students. Rather than thanking the students, because their rents have made many sharks multimillionaires, they appear to be unfairly blaming them for all kinds of acts.

Hypocrisy of NuLabour ward councillors may be shocking but not surprising because nationally, having cashed on empty promises about education, their party also had introduced fees for higher education.

While like all other sectors of society all students may not be the perfect, but by law of averages most of them are very intelligent and well behaved.

Cause of most of the anti social behaviour is either local yobs or in many cases spoilt brats of shark landlords, whose parents rather than teaching them social responsibility and compassion for humanity, have encouraged them to be big headed full of self importance show offs, with Mercedes and BMW’s without any intention of driving those properly.

Whatever may have gone wrong with our city, at least there are some rules, and constraints on the Councils to operate under certain laws. So it is nice to know that members of the planning committee did not share the anti students bigotry of pro shark landlords lobby, and have approved this application on the basis of its merit. Thus delivering well deserved rotten egg in the unprincipled faces of so called ward councillors.

Personally speaking I am saddened that we have councillors in our city some of whom were at one time either students themselves or have colleagues who were students. How can these self serving unprincipled opportunists forget that likes of those who are saying so may bad things about students now others of their ilk may have done the same to them or their mates?

If these NuLabourites had even an ounce of decency left in them, they should not have kissed the backside of anti students closed minded people, some of whom may even be the fronts for shark landlords.
Blair conned the nation with his seductive slogan of “Education, education and education”. But his NuLabour’s ward councillors of the area concerned appear to have joined the student bashing brigade. They have opposed possibility of decent accommodation for students by showing solidarity with shark landlords, many of whom are full of prejudice against students. Rather than thanking the students, because their rents have made many sharks multimillionaires, they appear to be unfairly blaming them for all kinds of acts. Hypocrisy of NuLabour ward councillors may be shocking but not surprising because nationally, having cashed on empty promises about education, their party also had introduced fees for higher education. While like all other sectors of society all students may not be the perfect, but by law of averages most of them are very intelligent and well behaved. Cause of most of the anti social behaviour is either local yobs or in many cases spoilt brats of shark landlords, whose parents rather than teaching them social responsibility and compassion for humanity, have encouraged them to be big headed full of self importance show offs, with Mercedes and BMW’s without any intention of driving those properly. Whatever may have gone wrong with our city, at least there are some rules, and constraints on the Councils to operate under certain laws. So it is nice to know that members of the planning committee did not share the anti students bigotry of pro shark landlords lobby, and have approved this application on the basis of its merit. Thus delivering well deserved rotten egg in the unprincipled faces of so called ward councillors. Personally speaking I am saddened that we have councillors in our city some of whom were at one time either students themselves or have colleagues who were students. How can these self serving unprincipled opportunists forget that likes of those who are saying so may bad things about students now others of their ilk may have done the same to them or their mates? If these NuLabourites had even an ounce of decency left in them, they should not have kissed the backside of anti students closed minded people, some of whom may even be the fronts for shark landlords. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

6:56pm Wed 17 Oct 12

boobooj says...

999medic wrote:
The whole area is already an eyesore. To redevelop this are would be great even into student flats, at least this will generate income for local shops pubs clubs etc. other landlords won't like the idea of it being built, because of the derelict buildings they rent out as houses, ( and yes trust me I know what I'm talking about) will lose revenue. They really need to improve the traffic through systems though as its a nightmare at present along with the rest of the city.
Agreed, and the students all staying in a smaller area will probably reduce anti-social behaviour as they will be less spread out and follow the same route back from Jesters/Sobar/etc..
[quote][p][bold]999medic[/bold] wrote: The whole area is already an eyesore. To redevelop this are would be great even into student flats, at least this will generate income for local shops pubs clubs etc. other landlords won't like the idea of it being built, because of the derelict buildings they rent out as houses, ( and yes trust me I know what I'm talking about) will lose revenue. They really need to improve the traffic through systems though as its a nightmare at present along with the rest of the city.[/p][/quote]Agreed, and the students all staying in a smaller area will probably reduce anti-social behaviour as they will be less spread out and follow the same route back from Jesters/Sobar/etc.. boobooj
  • Score: 0

9:36pm Wed 17 Oct 12

loosehead says...

I lived in a bedsit in Oxford street/Avenue?
There was pretend wood panelling on the walls & every now & then the landlords would appear take it down & paint the walls when the smell of damp was to much.
We could hear the pimps slapping there girls & the shebeens going .
I had a scooter & one person coming from that establishment asked me if I could help jump start his car & he had leads ready?
A group of local lads with swords chased me one night as they thought I was looking for a Prostitute & they were trying to clean up the area
? I lived there?
I can't see how students are going to bring down the area?
Could it be there might be a bigger police presence so scaring off trade?
I lived in a bedsit in Oxford street/Avenue? There was pretend wood panelling on the walls & every now & then the landlords would appear take it down & paint the walls when the smell of damp was to much. We could hear the pimps slapping there girls & the shebeens going . I had a scooter & one person coming from that establishment asked me if I could help jump start his car & he had leads ready? A group of local lads with swords chased me one night as they thought I was looking for a Prostitute & they were trying to clean up the area ? I lived there? I can't see how students are going to bring down the area? Could it be there might be a bigger police presence so scaring off trade? loosehead
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Hdg end mo says...

most of the critics who post on here wont be affected in anyway whatsoever there is enough overcrowding in the Newtown area already
most of the critics who post on here wont be affected in anyway whatsoever there is enough overcrowding in the Newtown area already Hdg end mo
  • Score: 0

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