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Permission secured for Downing College, Cambridge for conversion to student housing   
12 May 2017 | Posted by Ella Murfet
Beacon Planning have provided planning services to Downing College, Cambridge which helped secure permission for additional student accommodation on Lensfield Road.

Beacon Planning were appointed by Downing College to produce a Planning Statement to support an application for the change of use of a house to student accommodation. The Council advised the College that as the proposal would mean the loss of a dwelling further justification was needed, as it was in conflict with local policy. Beacon’s statement therefore addressed this constraint and set out why the proposal should be considered acceptable, and why a departure from the Council’s planning policy was appropriate in this circumstance.

The Council accepted Beacon’s case and subsequently approved the application. The description of development was however amended to be for a House of Multiple Occupation so that the property would not lose its residential use, but could still be occupied by students. Downing College are aiming to have the unit ready for occupation by students for the start of the October 2017 term.

This case highlights the ongoing difficulties of securing student accommodation in Cambridge when the Council is trying to address general housing demand.