Ormskirk student blocks overcome opposition at committee

Three four and five-storey student accommodation blocks in the centre of Ormskirk have been given the go-ahead by West Lancashire Council, despite criticism from local groups the scheme would be “overbearing”.

Developer J Waring & Sons was given consent by the council’s planning committee on 10 September, and is now primed to start on the project, which includes 101 student flats, split between 48 cluster-style bedrooms and 53 studio flats.

The studios are split across two blocks, while the cluster flats are in a four-storey building. Another block, which also reaches four storeys, will have a 1,000 sq ft commercial unit on the ground floor. All the buildings are proposed to be brick-clad, and will be arranged around a central courtyard.

The developer’s planner, Emery, argued there is currently “insufficient” numbers of student beds for Edge Hill University, with the proposed development designed to provide spaces for students in the town centre, particularly for second and third-year students. Edge Hill currently has just shy of 2,500 be d spaces on its campus.

The site, which is currently vacant, sits to the rear of Church Street and has had a lengthy planning history stretching back over a decade. A mixed-use commercial development including 17 apartments was approved in 2008, and although an extension of time was granted in 2013, the scheme has not yet been progressed.

The site is allocated for development under West Lancashire’s Local Plan.  Barclay + Phillips is the architect.

The project was approved by West Lancs’ planning committee, in line with officer recommendation, although there had been some objections from local groups, including the New Ormskirk Residents Group, which had argued the proposals were “overbearing” and would “do nothing to attract year-round visitors”.

However, the design of the scheme was praised by West Lancs’ planning officer, who said: “In my view, the broken mass of the blocks helps to create a more varied townscape, something that is difficult to achieve when providing modern student modular style accommodation, and I consider has been successfully created in the proposed development.

“The proposed spaces between the buildings provide the opportunity to create positive landscaped spaces which enliven the town centre during the day and in the evening.”

Your Comments

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Leave our town alone. To many people who arent from here makin decisions.

By Anonymous

The decision was made by Councillors from the area who were elected by the people who live there. What a silly comment.

By NWPlanner

^ Are you being serious?!

By Deja

Absolute joke. All I can say to the developers is wait a few years when these magical new students you think are going to appear dont turn up and you have about 50% or more of your apartments going unoccupied and empty. Ormskirk has gone to the dogs and my advice to any local residents is if you can move out, do I know I plan to as soon as possible

By Ben

Instead of sorting Ormskirk developments try spending money on a town centre for skelmersdale. Stuff the students

By Anonymous

Disgrace to ormskirk. More mess every night caused by pissed up student disturbance. Parking cars, where? On pavements. Council has no regard to residents and is a sham, greedy on one hand, penny pinch on other and a grossly overpaid management

By Julian ramsden

Sadly people are very nieve, the real reason is to introduce foreign “students” as Ormskirk is too white for the traitorous powers that be, and this is a sure fire way to achieve this, they play the long game u see, slowly but surely, goodbye Ormskirk.

By Paul Lindon

Our town has been over run by student accommodation in the last 3 to 4 years above shops. Let’s c a reduction in rates for first time New business so then they have a fire chance of survival. Ormskirk has lost all its charm of being a market town due to gready Councils and privet development. Let’s put a stop to this NOW,!!! We need to start a pittion with market and everyday people. Thanks Andyrobo@talktalk.net

By Andy Robinson

West lancs planning dept has made a mess of ormskirk by building on every scrap of land. It now has very little appeal and architecture to be proud of. Also burs is becoming the same mess.huge developments that the local area cannot cater for.eg roads and infrastructure.developments that do not give affordable housing houses far to big at prices that most cannot afford and using land that we need long term. You should be ashamed. There is climate change emergencyand I see you are doing nothing to help resolve that.

By Julia Owens

If it wasn’t for the students raising the local economy, with the use of its facilities such as shops/pubs/bars/restaurants/takeaways/salons etc etc, Ormskirk practically wouldn’t exist. Students are the life blood of that town, and the older generation need to accept that more and more “people who aren’t from round ‘ere” are going to keep coming. Admittedly, the town centre at night is quite bad, but it’s a haven of peace compared to the likes of Skelmersdale and Liverpool of a nighttime. Stop this ageist and xenophobic talk.

By Anonymous

I’m so pleased to see this going ahead. This is a good design, built in brick. Ormskirk has some lovely buildings and courtyards at the back, but it doesn’t join up. The lovely old building ‘Buck i’th Vine’ has recently been saved. This will help stitch it all back together as it was in the old days. Some of the modern buildings on the main streets could do with the same treatment.
I’m delighted to see more students living in the centre too, they bring life to the town and are mostly very polite and friendly. Hopefully it will also lead to more housing refurbishment around the older streets. And I love to see people from all over the world coming to Ormskirk!

By Stanley

Another nail in the coffin for Ormskirk…. O ce a quaint market town with character….or as I now call it, “studentville”

By Ex Ormskirk resident

What about local people we all need somewhere to live but nothing available due to students so build something for us locals who pay our council tax unlike the greedy student landlords

By Karen

Yet another plan going ahead despite many objections and over saturation of students. Council Tax has gone up yet no contribution from landlords to help benefit the town ! Where will they park? Probably in the pedestrian area like everyone else does and on double yellow lines!

By Jillyasp

Enough student accommodation already. Try finding a place to rent in the private sector it’s virtually impossible. If this must be built make it affordable housing for local residents.

By Anonymous

What’s in it for y.k.w.?

By Anonymous

I can not even get a bungalow on waste land
As it will disrupt the view of the a59


By S fitz

Poor Ormskirk. More heavy traffic. No thought for the infrastructure as usual. It will certainly stop me and lots of other people going into Ormskirk to shop.

By Anonymous

This land has been disused for too long now. I actually think the scheme looks good and will bring some life to the economy in town.

By Paul Palmer

Perhaps Emery meant to say,…there is currently “insufficient” numbers of beds …for people who live in Ormskirk, as the students have taken over this town; far too many students for the size of the town……..whiich the residents are paying for. This is not an anti education issue, but an ecconomic issue because of the size of the town.

By Anonymous

Anonymous….If it wasn’t for the students raising the local economy,….you obviously dont live in Ormskirk. The students havent save the pubs, they are still closing; many shops on high street are also closed. Come November, when the student money is gone……they dont come out. Try being a young person who has lived here…but now cannot buy a starter house. I would agree, the town is over run with students, who are NOT the life blood of the town; the market has been here since Edward III time.

By Anonymous

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