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Residents concerned over train noise if new student flats get go-ahead in Lincoln

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

  • An artist's impression of the proposed new flats in Wigford Yard in Brayford Wharf East, Lincoln

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Neighbours of proposed new student flats in Lincoln are worried it will cast a shadow across their homes and create an echo chamber that amplifies the noise from trains.

People who live in Witham Wharf, which has 114 flats over nine floors, have started a campaign against the plans to transform Wigford Yard in Brayford Wharf East.

The University of Lincoln wants to build an 11-storey block which looks out over Brayford Pool, with two blocks of student accommodation over eight and six floors in the yard behind.

Carole Van Hoffelen, 60, an illustrator who lives on the eighth floor of Witham Wharf overlooking the site, is opposed to the scheme.

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"I am not adverse to students," she said. "The university has done wonders for Lincoln.

"But this development is too high and the density of the buildings too much.

"We and others will lose light coming into our apartments.

"But this is not just about us – it's a Lincoln-wide problem.

"It is about getting a development of the right quality that is right for Lincoln.

"The height and density of the building means that the public walkway to be created between Brayford Wharf East and the High Street will be a labyrinth.

"We live next to an incredibly busy railway line and if they build to the height described it will create a sound tunnel which will be an echo chamber."

Husband Paul, 65, a design and project engineer, said: "I want to know if any sound modelling as to the effects of this has been done."

Neighbour Ted Barker, said: "Strengthening the university is crucial to the long-term vitality of Lincoln, but the proposed development has clearly not been thought through.

"Whatever is built should be something we can be proud of and not just a short-term solution to university growing pains.

"My fear is that in 30 years' time it will become an eyesore like the student accommodation in Grantham Street and Danesgate."

The proposed development incorporates the late 19th century Pea Factory and an adjoining warehouse would be demolished.

Globe Consultants, the agent for developers Campus Living Villages and Kier, has already begun public consultation, including letters to residents and an exhibition.

Phil Scrafton, a director of Globe Consultants, said: "We have tried to encourage people to have their say in advance of submitting the application.

"Some were supportive and some were not so supportive.

"The reality is that the site is a development site.

"It has been acquired by the university which views student accommodation as a priority for the site, and on the face of it, it supports planning policy.

"The proposal is likely to be submitted this week with a view to determination early next year.

"People need to familiarise themselves with the proposals and make their views known."

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  December 06 2012, 8:08PM

    No laws about tall buildings, Hussydog, but there is the law of ancient lights. The mention of casting a shadow across homes is the key, although I don't think Witham Wharf has been there long enough.

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  • Hussydog  |  December 06 2012, 2:36PM

    To be fair if train noise was an issue to me, I would not move into a building located against a railway. As for obscuring light? Is there something written that they can be the only building that is that tall in the area? The only way development can be done in Lincoln in the short term is upwards. The Uni which brings so much to Lincoln with the amount of students and business relating to the Uni is rapidly expanding to cement further Lincoln's move in to the modern age rather than the 1970's it seems to have stuck itself in. Most locals do not appreciate the University at all, but it has helped develop a majority of the Brayford area and St Marks area and now expanding along rope walk and beyond utilizing the section of railway that is no longer required since most of Lincolns industries have shut down leaving derelict land to grow wildly out of control. Change is good, accept and embrace it as there are places in this country where the economic problems this country has faced have stopped development (take Bradford for example), Lincoln is a rising City, which it needs to be to up visitor numbers, gain recognition of what it is and that is a beautiful adapting City with rich history and the opportunity to recreate itself so it doesn't get left behind.

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  • thomastom  |  December 06 2012, 1:20PM

    My heart sinks when I read this. Lincoln City Council permitted a derelict shop to be developed as a pub about 100 metres from me. I objected at the planning stage. My home and homelife have been blighted as a result. I know we are in the midst of a recession, but not all developement is good. NIMBYism is not an issue as your can see from the reasonalbe argument put forward by the Van Hoffelens.

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