Not well known for their hostile treatment of big business interests, Leicester City Council is apparently intervening to slow down the process by which developers Evans Bros Ltd (also known as Evans Heritage Developments) hope to turn a structurally sound and beautiful former hosiery factory into a pile of rubble (June 3, Leicester Mercury). The developers had planned to build yet more student housing on the site of this resplendent Victorian building, but thankfully public pressure has forced the Council’s hand.
Evans’ first student build in the city centre, Oxford House, is home to 55 students, while their second site, Oxford Grange was completed in 2011 and warehouses a further 148 students. Charging around £100 a week such accommodation is quite a money-spinner for some (rent at the two sites brings in around £80,000 a month).
In the face of our city’s intensifying crisis of affordable social housing, the tidy profits derived from overpriced student housing has made this particular sector of the building market exceedingly popular in Leicester. Yet if our Council were in the hands of a progressive political party like TUSC or the Green’s, then efforts could be made to convert many of our city’s awe-inspiring currently derelict buildings into much-needed council homes.
At least for the time being the Council has thrown a minor spanner in the works of the likely demolition. But with the consultation still open, contact the Council with your views on the continuing misuse of our city centre by fat-cat profiteers; and while you are at it, why not make an alternative suggestion for what you think our city really needs.
Click this link to make an objection to the demolition http://e-forms.leicester.gov.uk/default.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=YY7e8M2cxn3&Application_Number=20150943&Location_of_Proposal=53+OXFORD+STREET&Proposal=DEMOLTION+OF+BUILDING&Case_Officer=Katy+Redford
Letter sent to the Leicester Mercury mailbox on 3rd June.