Corstorphine & Wright’s 1,368-bed proposals flunk planning committee test

Councillors in Lincoln have flown in the face of advice from their planning officers and refused a 1,368-bed student-housing scheme earmarked for the site of a retail park.

Corstorphine & Wright’s proposals, drawn up for Standard Life Investments, would have delivered the new accommodation in 10 blocks of up to 10 storeys on part of St Mark’s Retail Park.

Planning officers had recommended the proposals for approval, arguing there were “clear links between the design rationale of the proposals and the wider city”, particularly in terms of its amended materials palette – which was switched from lighter brick tones to terracotta on their advice.

They said the proposals had “deliberately avoided” seeking to appear as an extension of the nearby University of Lincoln campus and had instead focused on integration with the larger red-brick industrial buildings and warehouses that were historically found in the neighbourhood.

St Mark's Retail Park in Lincoln

Source: Google Maps

St Mark’s Retail Park in Lincoln

They also said that the specific architecture of the buildings, which would have replaced branches of Lidl, Homebase, Topps Tiles and a former BHS store, boasted features that would “assist in breaking up the perceived mass of the buildings”.

But members of Lincoln council’s planning committee voted to refuse the scheme, with one reportedly describing the proposals as “bland” and “boring”.

The city’s formal decision notice following the rejection says the design of the proposal is “contrary to Lincoln’s setting and character and therefore contrary to Policies LP25, LP26 and LP29 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan”.