Residents lose fight over flats; Appeal allows developer to more than double size of student block.
A DEVELOPER has won the right to more than double the size of a student residence in Coventry despite neighbours' fears it would change the character of the area and cause parking problems.
The developer - named only as MJ Armstrong in government paperwork - has been granted permission on appeal to build a new block on a car park alongside Raglan Court, Raglan Street, Hillfields, bringing the total number of students living there to 157, from 67.
But the finished development will have just six car parking spaces - with four reserved for disabled students.
More than 200 residents signed a petition objecting to the plans and Coventry City Council's planning committee refused permission before the developer won on appeal.
A government planning inspector ruled students were less likely to bring cars if they knew there were very few spaces.
He said: "I consider that it would be entirely appropriate to limit the provision of parking spaces to encourage the use of alternatives to the car."
He said the student residence was close to the university buildings, the city centre, bus station, Hillfields shops and several bus routes, and the existing 37 spaces were not always used.
Bill Beveridge, of the Singer Residents' and Landlords' Association, said: "We're already badly affected and it can't get any better - it's bound to get worse."