The owner of the Twerton Mill student blocks on the Lower Bristol Road has applied to convert part of the complex into a temporary hotel until October 2021.
The applicant, a company called IQ Student Accommodation, says that the pandemic has resulted in a drop in student numbers and that using 80 of the 330 rooms as a hotel could contribute to the city’s economy. The rooms would revert back to student use once the pandemic is over.
The Twerton Mill development has proved a bone of contention for some local people, as the owner has consistently failed to enforce the no-parking rule. Twerton Mill was built on the condition that the student tenants do not bring cars, but some students flout this rule by parking illegally on both sides of the Lower Bristol Road.
There is a possibility that by converting part of the development into a hotel, the parking issues would be made worse. One member of the public has already objected to the application, commenting that:
As the operator of the student block has failed to comply with the original obligations to prevent parking on the site, I cannot believe they will prevent car use should you permit them to convert a proportion of the site to an aparthotel.
The owner claims that converting some of the rooms into a hotel would help prevent students from suffering feelings of isolation arising from having empty rooms around them.
On the other hand, it could be argued that some of the student blocks should simply be converted into much-needed residential flats to address the housing shortage. A developer would normally be expected to include some affordable housing as part of a new housing scheme.
You can send council planners your own comment on the matter by following this link: https://tinyurl.com/yanofnbq