A 'LANDMARK' 40-room five-storey shared-housing block will be built in Lowesmoor as part of the latest plan to revitalise the area.

The plan for the House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) was approved despite earlier concerns over its design and height.

The plan drew criticism from Historic England and council conservationist officers with Historic England, who rejected the original six-storey application and the approved five-storey plan, said it was “too big” but councillors largely agreed it would be a great addition to the area.

The city council’s planning committee approved the plans for the “gateway” building at last week's meeting (September 20), which also included permission to use the ground floor as a shop, restaurant, bar, pub or for professional and financial use and for the remaining four floors to house 40 rooms as well as communal kitchens, bathrooms and toilets.

When built, the building would be roughly the same height as the neighbouring Asda supermarket but around five metres shorter than the 98-bed apartment block opposite St Martin’s Gate car park which was approved in 2016 but has yet to be built.

Councillor Alan Amos was less than enthusiastic about the lack of car parking spaces in the plan.

He said: "What is the thinking behind people living in HMO's not having a car?

"What we are saying is that you can have a car but you can't park it anywhere. Are we really suggesting that people are going to have to use a public car park?

"The cars have got to go somewhere."

Cllr Louis Stephen said there was no need to include car parking and the council should be encouraging people to walk and cycle.

He said: "I think the number of people who will have a car and choose to live in this property will be very very low."

Cllr Jo Hodges said: "I like the look of this building. Just because we live in a historic city doesn't mean all the buildings have to look historic.

Cllr Joy Squires welcomed the plan but was concerned the flat roof would be very attractive to gulls.