Chichester students’ overnight visitors given green light

GUESTS visiting new student accommodation planned for Chichester will be able to stay on after 11pm, district councillors have decided.

Planning consent was granted earlier this year for the conversion of a former Chichester High School for Girls building, in Stockbridge Road.

The University of Chichester plans to use the building as an 88-room hall of residence for students.

The previous decision was subject to a legal agreement stating a number of conditions.

Conditions included one stipulating no overnight guests would be permitted, with all of them expected to leave by 11pm.

But the council’s southern area development management committee agreed to go along with a request from the university that the condition be removed from the agreement.

Councillors were told the removal would allow the university to go ahead with its plans to bring the redundant Edwardian building back into use and to provide additional student accommodation.

This, in turn, would make available existing private rented accommodation in the city.

Recommending approval, a report by planning officers said that while the condition would be enforceable for serious cases, it was ‘probably superfluous’ as a noise-control measure.

“It can be deleted without significant harm to the council’s ability to control noise and anti-social behaviour,” said the report.

“It should, however, be noted that a similar clause is contained in the agreement for the main GHS site, now operated by Chichester College, and if the council agrees to its removal for the university’s Edwardian site then a similar request from the college may be submitted.”

The university said it would be unable to take the site if the clause remained.

It also said it considered the clause to be ‘unenforceable’ and that adequate control over noise could be achieved.

Chichester City Council raised no objection.

The move was, however, opposed by the Southern Gateway Residents’ Association, which said this and other conditions on the site were imposed with good reason.

“These conditions, as with those for the adjacent student flats, were imposed with good reason, namely to ensure the impact on the neighbourhood was minimised,” said their response.

“And so, in the absence of fuller particulars, the association objects to the removal of the clause.”

Committee members voted to lift the condition.