A DEVELOPER has lost an appeal to build a student development in Durham.

Last year Durham County Council rejected an application for a 60-bed block on a vacant piece of land between Holly Street and John Street.

An appeal by applicant Paul Thaper has now failed.

The developer said there was a need for more student housing and added that the scheme could help rebalance the community by enabling houses in the area to be occupied by families.

However, planning inspector Jason Whitfield said there was no evidence that it would return housing stock to family use and added it would lead to an “unacceptable” concentration of students in the area.

He said: “It seems to me that the appeal proposal would materially increase the already high concentration of student accommodation within the area and contribute towards the continued imbalance of the community.”

The postcode of the proposed site has a student occupancy rate of 91 per cent, while those of surrounding postcodes varies between 67 per cent and 100 per cent.