Former Bristol Infirmary Set to Become Student Housing

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Planners look set to approve another student accommodation scheme in Bristol, despite plans to transform the former Bristol Royal Infirmary building being criticised by conservationists.

The planning application to convert the building will be presented to councillors next Wednesday, and officers are recommending that the project be approved.

Last year the student accommodation specialists Unite announced that it had struck a deal with the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust to acquire the building in Upper Maudlin Street.

The project will involve the transformation of the former hospital into 700 student flats, despite concerns over the loss of a historic building.

However, the plans would see the frontage of the building saved from demolition, while the ground floor and basement would be turned into a medical school.

The existing chapel would also be saved but the remaining buildings will be demolished as part of plans to create enough space for 738 student beds.

The Bristol Civic Society was particularly opposed to the development suggesting that: "This large and important city centre site merits uses that are more inventive than a mass of student accommodation. This site must include other forms of residential development to improve the diversity of accommodation to contribute to the public realm."

Not everyone was against the proposals, with UH Bristol chief operating officer and deputy chief executive Deborah Lee, suggesting that the old building had been used for nearly 300 years but was no longer adequate to meet today's standards and was therefore surplus to requirements.