A DEVELOPER will not be building 79 student flats in Reading after its planning appeal was dismissed.

Silver Street Developments said it was looking to build high-quality student flats at 40-68 Silver Street because the site is “well positioned with convenient access to the University of Reading campuses”.

The developer appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after Reading Borough Council rejected the plans in September 2019, but that appeal has been dismissed.

The council’s Planning Applications Committee concluded that the development would have a “detrimental impact” on the local community and disrupt traffic on Silver Street.

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They were concerned neighbours would be disturbed by noisy students and lose out on privacy and natural light, because the four-storey block of flats would overlook their properties.

They also pointed out that policy H12 in the council’s Local Plan states student accommodation should be “provided on or adjacent to” university or college campuses “unless it can be clearly demonstrated how the proposal meets a need that cannot be met” on those sites.

In a written decision, planning inspector Guy Davies stated the development “would not result in undue noise or disturbance” and there would not be a “harmful loss of privacy”.

However, he accepted the council’s concerns about the impact on traffic and the loss of natural light, saying that would have an “adverse effect” on the living conditions of neighbours.

He also accepted there is a clear “conflict” with the council’s Local Plan policy on building new student homes in Reading.

The decision states: “Disruption caused by students arriving or departing at the beginning and end of term would be limited to a few occasions a year.

“But given the role that Silver Street plays as part of the primary road network, the limited availability of on-street parking and the restrictions on loading and unloading, I conclude there were such disruption to occur it would have a significant and adverse impact on the free flow of traffic on Silver Street, resulting in a harmful impact on highway safety.”

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It adds: “The conflict with policy H12, together with more detailed shortcomings of the scheme in relation to highway safety, and the adverse effect of parts of the scheme on the living conditions of some neighbouring and future occupants, means that the proposal would conflict with the development plan when taken as a whole.

“There are no material considerations that outweigh the harm identified above.

“For those reasons, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”