The City Council has exchanged contracts for the sale of Tiverton House, and is expected to complete the sale in mid-May. Unfortunately, the Council has ignored pleadings from Coleridge ward Councillors of all parties and has proceded with a sale to a new owner who we understand intends to use it for student accommodation.
The Lib Dem Executive Councillor took the decision some time ago to sell on the best possible commercial terms, and as a result requests not to sell the building for student accommodation without consulting local members were ignored. We think there was an opportunity to put reasonable conditions into the sale contract that may have helped avoid some of the problems with student accommodation that have occurred elsewhere in the City.
As yet it is unclear the extent of any works required on site - I don't think the new owner is looking to demolish completely and rebuild - although there will be some refurbishments in the immediate future. So we don't yet know if we will get a chance to challenge any plans through the planning process, although we will be scrutinising carefully any proposals the new owners bring forward.