Decision Expected This Week on Major Accommodation Scheme in Exeter

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A decision on the University of Exeter's major student accommodation park will be given this week.

Plans to build student housing for University of Exeter students were recommended for approval by planning officers, but only after the scheme was deferred in February to allow for a planning revision.

Following the plans alterations, the University say the site will now contain a minimum of 1,200 student beds in buildings, which are 11 percent smaller and situated further away from residents.

Three of the tower blocks have been reduced in height, making them all three storeys tall, and two additional blocks have been entirely removed from the plans.

The amendments ensure the green space on the proposed site is now 73 percent larger than originally planned.

Despite the changes and the project being scaled back, the application saw a huge number of objections being submitted. In total 408 separate objections were raised, with members of the public still not satisfied with the revision.

Commenting on application Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Peter Hollland, said: "I was frustrated the meeting was so restricted and invitation only. I feel residents have been let down.

"I was also frustrated that at the previous planning meeting in which it was considered, the plans were 30 seconds away from being declined but for the intervention of Cllr's Phil Bialyk and Peter Edwards who proposed the decision be deferred instead."

It's understood residents had asked for a 40 percent reduction in scale of the site, with the university only providing a 11 percent reduction in their revised plans.

Although Mr Holland agreed the additional purpose-built student beds would ease the pressure on houses of multiple occupancy, there are concerns over what will happen when these students move out of university halls in years two and three.

If approved the new accommodation is scheduled for completion by September 2021.

Bath Cricket Ground to Become Accommodation for Students

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Plans have been put forward to develop a 140-bed student accommodation block on the site of the Bath Cricket Club ground in the city centre.

The scheme includes plans for a new indoor training facility, which the club says it needs in order to safeguard its future, as the existing building no longer meets the minimum requirements as outlined by the English Cricket Board.

So far, the applicant has only submitted a screening opinion to Bath and North East Somerset Council, with a public exhibition outlining the plans, scheduled for next month.

Bath Cricket Club chairman Matt Hankins suggested that in order to develop the clubs ambitions they need to maximum their assets, which in turn will protect the work they wish to achieve. To facilitate this the club has decided to pursue an element of private development on its city centre site.

The student accommodation is being proposed by specialists Gilltown Limited and calls for the construction of a 145-bed student scheme, complete with car parking.

The plans also include the demolition of the existing cricket centre and gym, which will subsequently be replaced with new facilities.

Commenting on the plans managing director of Gilltown Limited, Paul Gillespie, said: "The plan is to build a brand-new cricket school and gymnasium to re-engineer the site" and the company has been working "for some time to improve the club's facilities".

The accommodation will be available to University of Bath students.

Work Begins on Shrewsbury Student Housing

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Work is due to begin on the construction of a new student accommodation scheme in St Austin's Street Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Council announced this week the Tanney car park in St Austin's Street will close on Sunday as work begins on creating the next phase of the town's student housing.

Plans for the student accommodation were approved last year and will result in the former study centre situated on the site being demolished to make way for the scheme.

The building will be delivered in phases and Shropshire Council, who currently own the site, will take lead in the development with its construction partner Morris Property.

The new site will sit alongside the existing student housing at Mardol House in Shrewsbury town centre and will be occupied by University Centre Shrewsbury students.

Commenting on the development, Tim Smith, head of business, enterprise and commercial services at Shropshire Council, said: "This new accommodation will support the redevelopment of the west end of Shrewsbury town centre and will be a significant improvement for the area."

Once all phases of the development are complete the site will be able to house over 200 students.

The plans were originally scheduled for completion in time for the 2016/17 academic year, but were subsequently pushed back while the council and University Centre Shrewsbury assessed the expected demand for bed spaces.

Derby Student Accommodation to Maintain City Heritage

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In a bid to maintain Derby city's heritage, horse-powered tram tracks dating back to the 1800s are to be reinstated at a new student accommodation block.

A 45-metre section of tramline and its surrounding cobbles were removed by Clegg Construction prior to work starting on the student block in Agard Street.

However, developers will use past photos, site plans and survey data to reinstall the tramline once the site is near completion.

Costing £17 million, the student accommodation is being built next to the existing copper-clad University of Derby law department located on the corner of Ford Street and Agard Street.

The tracks ran along Short Street, which previously connected Agart Street with Friar Gate, and were associated with the 1881 Friar Gate tram depot which operated across Derby,

Commenting on the decision to reinstate the tramlines, Dave Swift, construction manager at Clegg Construction, said: "Removing them wasn't a difficult process and it's been quite interesting, we took the tramlines out in sections and removed the cobbles. It took about three and a half weeks and will take about six to eight weeks to put everything back."

Mr Swift indicated work was progressing well, which once complete will see the construction of 244 en-suite bedrooms as well as communal areas, kitchens and dining rooms.

19-storey Student Block Approved in Coventry

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Planning permission has been granted for a 19-storey student accommodation block on Friar's Road in Coventry.

The scheme will consist of 140 studios and 443 cluster en-suite flats.

Sitting on the junction of Friar's Road and St Patrick's Road, the site is located to the south of Coventry city centre and is just a short walk to Coventry University's campus, as well as the train station and the city's main shopping centre.

Included in the plans is a gym, common room, study area, cinema and a private outdoor courtyard.

Developers Crosslane will hand over the management of the site to Prime Student Living once complete.

Commenting on the development, Mike Moran, development manager at Crosslane Student Developments, said: "The proposed scheme will act as a gateway from the station into the heart of the city centre and is a short walk to Coventry University.

"At 583 beds, the scheme will be a significant contribution to easing the supply-demand fundamentals which persist for purpose-built student accommodation in the city."

If all goes to plan the new student accommodation is due to open in time for the 2019/20 academic year.

Student Flats Earmarked for Sunderland

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Plans to build a student accommodation block on a historic Sunderland site have been submitted to the authorities.

Under the proposals, the former Speeding's Sails building on Whickham Street, will be demolished to make way for a five-storey block of student flats.

The 19th century warehouse has been described as being of "industrial heritage significance" in reference to Sunderland's ship building past.

Under the plans the current site will be flattened and replaced with a five-storey purpose-built student accommodation block providing 68 bedrooms.

Developers will arrange the beds in flats of between 3 and 5 rooms each sharing communal facilities. There will also be enough parking space for four vehicles and a large cycle storage area.

Those behind the plans have recognised the sites local historic interest and plan to appease concerns by preserving the building's stone sign and donating it to Sunderland Museum.

In addition to maintaining the building's sign, an extensive recording project will take place prior to any demolition work.

Councillors are set to decide on the buildings fate at a planning meeting taking place on April 25.

St Andrews Begins University Halls Expansion

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The University of St Andrews has got the ball rolling on its £70 million student accommodation project.

The university has submitted two separate applications to expand its halls of residences to increase the number of available student bed spaces.

Planning applications were put forward to extend the Agnes Blackadder Hall and the University Hall. Once complete the extended accommodation will provide a further 360 student beds.

The plans fall within the university's wider ambition to provide 900 extra beds for students, which once complete would increase the amount of accommodation to 4,900 beds.

Construction work is expected to start in August of this year, with the project due for completion in time for the 2018/19 academic term.

Commenting on the development, the university said: "St Andrews has always been a small university, and intends to stay relatively small. The intimacy of the town, the closeness of the community and the interaction of town and gown are key elements of the St Andrews experience.

"However, we do plan managed, moderate student growth over the next 10 years."

The university suggested the aforementioned growth will allow the institution to resist inflationary pressures on its cost base, but does require additional investment into student housing.

Part of the plans also include the refurbishment of Gregory Place, Old Wing University Hall, and Andrew Melville Hall.

St Andrews Community Council have welcomed the development and at a recent planning meeting no objections were raised.

153-bed Student Scheme Planned for Stirling

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Plans have been put forward to develop a 153-bed student accommodation scheme located in Stirling's city centre.

McLaren Ltd have submitted plans to Stirling Council for the development of 14-16 Dumbarton Road, behind New Look, which has been earmarked for a six-storey block.

The company argued the development of an unused site would help with the shortfall in student accommodation and could boost the local economy by £1.4 million a year.

If given the green light, the accommodation will come equipped with a common room, gym, cinema room, and laundry facilities and would be managed by CRM Students.

Also of note is the site would become a "no car development" with extensive cycle storage being provided.

The developers said of the plans: "It provides an active ground floor frontage and will bring significant economic benefits to the city centre.

"Student residences also bring life and economic activity throughout the day and into the evening and the ongoing annual economic impact of the proposed development once operational has been estimated by Biggar Economics at £1.4 million gross added value".

The company also suggested the site would help support 36 more jobs, in addition to those employed by the residences.

Carillion Chosen for 1,122-bed Manchester Student Village Project

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The University of Manchester has selected Carillion as the preferred bidder for phase 1 of its Fallowfield student village project.

The University was forced back to the drawing board after its original plans resulted in tenders being proposed that were way over budget for the 3,000-bed student village.

The scheme represents one of the University's largest planned projects in its 10-year building programme and is to be built in three phases over several years.

Carillion will now design and build phase one which is estimated to cost around £75m.

The project will consist of 1,122 bedrooms split across eight student accommodation blocks, together with an energy centre, student amenity hub and associated landscaping provision.

The four storey cluster blocks will consist predominantly of 10 bedrooms and a kitchen area on each floor.

Carillion will develop the final design and construction proposals before signing the contract. Construction of the scheme is due to start in August and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019.

Greystar to Develop 306-bed East Acton Scheme

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Greystar has acquired a site in East Acton, which will be developed into a 306-bed student accommodation block.

Construction partner Tide Construction has already started work on the site with forward funding provided by Greystar.

The site was formally home to the Savoy Cinema but was unoccupied for nearly two decades.

The development is 500 metres from East Acton underground station and five minutes away from Imperial College London's White City campus.

The purpose-built student accommodation will come equipped with a gym, quite study space, cinema room, games room, communal study, and residents lounge and will be managed by Greystar's Chapter brand.

Commenting on the development, Troy Tomasik, managing director of investments at Greystar, said: "This is a strategic acquisition to extend the Chapter brand to an underserved market in west London.

"We have identified a significant demand in this corner of the capital for high quality student accommodation at a range of price points. Chapter is uniquely positioned to deliver on both fronts."

The construction of the accommodation is anticipated to take approximately 18 months, with the site scheduled to open in time for the 2018/19 academic year.