More student flats to be built in Nottingham where 1960s pub once stood

Student housing and shops will be built where a Nottingham pub stood derelict for years. The Douglas Bar in Alfreton Road was recently demolished, more than ten years after it closed.

A total of 26 studio flats will be built in a three-storey building, in an effort to free up private housing which students often occupy. The plans from A & Q Properties also include four shops or businesses on the ground floor.

The Douglas Bar, originally known as the Windmill, was built in the 1960s and has undergone several name changes since then. When permission was given for demolition in 2021, planners at Nottingham City Council were told it had been closed for at least a decade and didn’t have a viable future as a pub.

The Douglas Bar was described at the time as being in a “dilapidated state” with the car park overrun by weeds. Planning documents say the housing scheme will help to alleviate student demand for private housing in the city.

“The development has the potential to draw more students out of private housing into purpose-built stock, freeing up housing for the local community and reducing pressure on the market,” they say. “The council has recognised that parts of the city have become imbalanced by the number of homes now in use as HMOs [houses of multiple occupancy].

“The council’s approach is to discourage any further expansion of HMOs or other student housing in these areas and support the continued development of PBSA [purpose-built student accommodation] in the city centre and other appropriate locations.”

Nottingham City Council, the University of Nottingham, and Nottingham Trent University recently launched a Student Living Strategy to ensure neighbourhoods weren’t “overpowered” by the need for student housing. The number of students needing accommodation in Nottingham has grown by more than a quarter since 2016/17, from around 40,000 to 51,000.

Around 61,000 students attended both universities last year – and around 9,500 student beds will be created in Nottingham over the next three years in order to meet demand.