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Contentious student housing decision due

A controversial £20 million student housing project in Bristol will get an apporoval decision by planners tomorrow.

The project, on top of the O2 Academy, will see a former ice rink demolished to make way for 11,781 sq m of student accommodation, a café and car park.

Student housing company Unite is behind the project, which has gone through an arduous planning process that has seen a 9,000-strong petition filed against it, as well as dozens of complaints from residents.

But Bristol City Council seems poised to give the scheme the green light after it was recommended for approval by planning officials. The development will replace the ice rink with 448 flats after it was closed at the beginning of 2012 by Unite.

The company argued that the rink was rarely used and was no longer financially viable, a view that has been backed up by officials from Bristol City Council.  

No exact value for the housing portion of the development has been made public but the construction process is likely to be complex.

As well as the Frogmore Street development’s downtown location, the redevelopment will take place on top of the O2 Academy, which will remain open during the entire construction process.

As well as the closure of the ice rink, many of the objections to the project relate to its height, at eight storeys (34.4 m).

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