Appeal regarding plans to use Stirling student apartments as vacation rentals
Controversial plans for a block of student accommodation in Stirling for summer vacationers have been rejected by a Scottish government journalist.
Last October, Stirling advisers rejected a proposal from the owners of the Riverside Quay building – UK PBSA (Forthside Way Ltd) – that their 209-bed facility be used for short-term vacation rentals between June 1 and August 31 of each year on the grounds that it would add to the parking problems and lead to a potential increase in the number of people using the development.
Riverside Community Council had also opposed the move, insisting it would exacerbate the area’s parking and traffic problems.
UK PBSA (Forthside Way, Stirling Ltd) had sought to amend the original planning permission, limiting development to student use only, and appealed the Stirling Council decision to deny rentals vacation.
But this week, journalist Keith Bray, who visited the site and its surroundings last month, rejected the appeal and refused the building permit. Mr Bray said in its decision dated 2 June: “The appellant[UKPBSA(ForthsideWayLtd)faitvaloirquelestationnementpeutêtrecontrôléparconditiongrâceàlaprésentationd’undossierd’informationsurlesvoyagessimilaireàlarestrictiondelapossessiond’unevoiturepourlesétudiantsrésidentsexistants[UKPBSA(ForthsideWayLtd)arguesthatparkingcanbecontrolledbyconditionthroughthesubmissionofaTravelInformationPacksimilartotherestrictiononcarownershipforexistingstudentresidents[UKPBSA(ForthsideWayLtd)faitvaloirquelestationnementpeutêtrecontrôléparconditiongrâceàlaprésentationd’undossierd’informationsurlesvoyagessimilaireàlarestrictiondelapossessiond’unevoiturepourlesétudiantsrésidentsexistants[UKPBSA(ForthsideWayLtd)arguesthatparkingcanbecontrolledbyconditionthroughthesubmissionofaTravelInformationPacksimilartotherestrictiononcarownershipforexistingstudentresidents
“However, given the relative ease of access to the site by car that I have identified, I consider that the car visits to the site, for drop-off and pick-up, would increase compared to current usage. .
“Although the appellant relies on information from residents, no assessment or evidence is provided to show me that users of the accommodation would not choose to park using the free street parking nearby .
“Additionally, while there are sustainable travel choices, there would be no way to prevent accommodation guests from using on-street parking by imposing a travel information package condition. .
“As the advice points out, the information in a travel kit can simply be put aside. In addition, a condition requiring a Travel Information Pack is significantly different from the current restrictions on car ownership imposed on students through rental contracts.
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Mr Bray agreed that the proposal would see the hosting work with about the same (or perhaps fewer) users than expected during the school term, but for three months of the year, the profile of people using the site. would change.
He added: “In theory, it could be all vacationers.
“The appellant acknowledges that bed turnover would increase as a result of this change. but states that the level of activity noticeable on the calling site during the summer months would be significantly lower. However, no evidence is provided to demonstrate this. I consider that an increase in the daily / weekly turnover of people arriving and leaving the site would be expected, as well as a general increase in activity involving a car compared to long-term student use.
“While the appellant argues that the primary use would remain student accommodation, any impact occurring during the three month period should not be diminished simply because it does not occur throughout the year. “
Dismissing the appeal, Mr Bray also said there were “important material considerations” that did not support the proposal, adding: “Specifically, these undermine the basis for existing consent, no on-site parking for customers, location out of a controlled parking area, pedestrian safety when crossing Forthside Way and inadequate arrangement of disembarkation maneuvers and pickups.
“I conclude that these material considerations would collectively support the denial of a planning application.”