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Canterbury student flats plan rejected by council officers

A bid to build new homes for dozens of students has been rejected by planning officials.

Developers had hoped to transform a residential site in New Dover Road, Canterbury, erecting two blocks containing 14 self-contained flats that would accommodate 80 tenants.

How the development might have looked. Picture: Cook Associates
How the development might have looked. Picture: Cook Associates

In the plans, the applicant wrote: “We propose a development that will improve the site, fit in with recent surrounding development and provide necessary accommodation”.

But the proposal received backlash from local residents, who branded it "totally inappropriate".

It has also been opposed by Oaten Hill and South Canterbury Association, and Canterbury Heritage Design Forum, which say it is "identical" to another application previously refused by the council.

Resident Helena Ortega, who lives next door to the site, wrote: “It is an aberration to put 80 students in a residential area that is already crowded.

“This type of development does not benefit the housing crisis.

How the site looks now. Picture: Cook Associates
How the site looks now. Picture: Cook Associates

“There are enough student accommodation places in Canterbury.”

She added: “The noise and disturbance to the current peaceful life of the neighbours would be intolerable.”

Fellow neighbour Phylinda Chan echoes her concerns, adding: “Loud noise, students congregating on New Dover Road, littering, congested pavements and traffic congestion, are all existing issues and will certainly get worse with additional blocks of student flats.”

Canterbury City Council planning bosses have this week turned down the application.

In making its decision, the authority said the plan "fails to balance the need for student housing and family dwelling houses".

It adds the developer failed to secure the delivery of financial contributions towards open space and cycleway improvements, while the development "would lead to unacceptable levels of parking in surrounding streets".

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