A NEW £22 million student village in Coventry has been approved despite protests.
The plans caused controversy, being widely criticised by some Coventry councillors.
Regardless of opposition the proposals for the new student village in Canley were unanimously approved by council’s planning committee on Thursday (November 14).
The new village will be available for Warwick University students and could house over 450 students.
Work will begin on the development in February next year and will be built on the former land of Canley Sports and Social Club in Marler Road, which closed in 2013 after a fire.
We reported earlier this year opposition to the new village culminated in a petition, in which residents called for affordable and social housing to be built instead.
We asked councillor Jim O’Boyle if the ‘student village’ development would bring economic benefits to the city.
The cabinet member for jobs and regeneration said: “I have not been made aware of any economic benefit this development will bring although we expect some job creation during construction.
“But the site has been empty for a number of years so the fact it’s going to be developed is a good thing.
“The real issue here is our inability to be able to build council houses for people who need them.
“Private sector landlords are making a killing and people who live in social housing have the chance to purchase their home after just a few years so the numbers available are at real risk of dropping almost as soon as new social homes are built.
“We have made our views clear to government that we would like to be able to build council houses again.”
Back in April, in a joint statement Couns David Skinner, Tim Mayer and Marcus Lapsa said “ We are calling on Coventry council to reject plans for a potential 300-bed gated student accommodation block.
“We are concerned about additional transport and parking problems, plus safety issues for students walking to and from the site.
“We believe the site would be much better suited to helping the Canley community grow by providing much needed starter and family accommodation and adequate associated parking.”