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Mont Rose College students with severe mobility issues oppose development which removes car-park

PUBLISHED: 17:10 17 November 2020

Mont Rose College's student union wrote a letter to councillors opposing a proposed development that would mean disabled students lose their car-park. Picture: KO Architects

Mont Rose College's student union wrote a letter to councillors opposing a proposed development that would mean disabled students lose their car-park. Picture: KO Architects

Archant

Students from Mont Rose College have objected to a planned development at the Gants Hill site which would remove their disabled parking.

Plans for the building which would be between Commercial House and Montrose House. Picture: KO ArchitectsPlans for the building which would be between Commercial House and Montrose House. Picture: KO Architects

There are 75 disabled students enrolled at the college in Eastern Avenue, 15 of whom have severe mobility issues.

In a letter sent to councillors ahead of a planning meeting taking place on Friday, November 20, the school’s student union pleaded with them to not approve the development.

If the propsal goes forward, the existing car park would be removed and replaced with an eight-storey block plus a basement and a five-storey building at the rear of the site, which would provide 15 residential units and 1,325 sqm of commercial space.

A spokesperson for the student union said: “The proposed development severely affects the disabled students who are attending the site for classes and we are obliged to put forward their case as we believe our future is at stake should this development proceed.”

Developers wants to build a five-storey building in Mont Rose College's car park. Picture: Cindy ChenDevelopers wants to build a five-storey building in Mont Rose College's car park. Picture: Cindy Chen

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The only car parking provided on the new site would be two disabled spaces, accessible by a crossover on Clarence Avenue.

The proposals have been met with a number of objections from residents and councillors but the planning officer’s report recommends approving the project saying it would “provide much needed housing” and “crucially, it will assist the borough in meeting the demands of the housing delivery test.”

The report states that blue badge holders can park for free on single and double yellow lines, pay and display bays, disabled bays and shared use bays along Clarence Avenue.

The planning application had 31 objections, many of which said that the new building would block their light and over-populate the area.

The report states that most of the windows which will be blocked “are either non-habitable window and/or secondary window to a habitable room and therefore the development will not negatively impact on loss of outlook and privacy to these neighbouring properties.”

There are four windows within the flats at 43 Clarence Avenue which will have their sunlight reduced significantly but the report states: “The total impact of the development is considered to have a minor adverse impact, which is considered to be acceptable for large urban developments of this scale.”
ROK Planning, which managed the planning application, did not respond to a request to comment on this story.


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