Dan Hopgood provided an update at the AGM. That very day the Planning and Rights of Way Panel had granted planning permission by a majority decision. The development will house an 8 consulting-room doctors’ surgery, pharmacy, convenience store and other undefined retail and community uses along with accommodation for 368 students. The community use would be at commercial rates and if not taken up could be used for retail purposes. There will be 24 on-site car parking spaces plus 8 allocated exclusively to the doctors’ surgery staff on weekdays. There will be no enforcement to prevent students bringing cars to the city and parking in local roads. This is of great concern to local residents and the main reason for Dan leading such a strenuous campaign against the development. Dan felt the only way forward would be to seek a judicial review because the planning process was technically flawed. Unfortunately the costs would be exceptionally high and therefore not feasible.

The campaign of Dan and Ethelburt Avenue residents pushed the developers as far as they were prepared to go. They agreed to “All student contracts to include the agreed penalty clause wording to the effect that they shall not bring a car to Swaythling Ward whilst living at City Gateway and may be evicted if found to have done so. In the event that evidence is provided by residents or the City Council that a resident has access to a car they will be given a warning leading to possible eviction. This will be at the discretion of the University of Southampton and/or any designated operator and/or the landowner upon receipt of valid evidence.”

The developers will also provide, at their expense, explanatory signage in Ethelbert Avenue about not parking. Our current thinking is that this will be on matching plates below the street name plates.

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