Another massive student flats plan for Exeter

Students, especially international ones, have become big business. According to one analysis, international students in the UK contribute £28.8 billion to the country’s coffers annually. 

Providing student accommodation has also become big business as is becoming very evident when walking or driving around Exeter city centre. Rents can be as high as £265/week in Bath or £149/week in Southampton. 

The article below also introduces the concept of Co-living accommodation. According to the applicant: Co-living accommodation represents a rapidly emerging residential sector and provides an alternative affordable housing solution for young professionals and key workers as they either transition from student accommodation, and/or as a stepping stone to more traditional modes of residential accommodation.

Owl is not convinced.

Daniel Clark www.devonlive.com

Massive student flats plans have been submitted for Exeter’s former police station and magistrates’ court site.

Plans would see more than 1000 bed spaces created as part of the major new redevelopment scheme submitted this week for Heavitree Road.

The plans from Nixon Homes & Student Roost, would see the demolition of the existing derelict buildings, to be replaced by a dedicated Purpose Built Student Accommodation building and a separate residential communal living accommodation (Co-living) building, along with associated amenity and ancillary spaces.

The development would be right next to the 134 co-living studios being built in Gladstone Road on the site of the former ambulance station, and is right opposite the St Luke’s campus of the University of Exeter.

Developers behind the plans say that the ‘exciting proposals’ are committed to achieving an exemplary development on this special site on a key route into Exeter.

The student accommodation would be arranged around two landscaped courtyard spaces, providing an external amenity area for the students. The five storey building would consist of 689 rooms – approximately 30 per cent studios and 70 per cent shared accommodation. There would be 689 rooms and the entrance is located in a prominent position on Heavitree Road at the junction with Gladstone Road and opposite St Luke’s Campus.

Artist impression of the proposed student flats and co-living development for the former Magistrates’ Court and police station site in Exeter

The Co-living accommodation would provide 352 rooms across a range of high quality standard, premium and wheelchair accessible studios across a six storey building.

Co-living accommodation represents a rapidly emerging residential sector and provides an alternative affordable housing solution for young professionals and key workers as they either transition from student accommodation, and/or as a stepping stone to more traditional modes of residential accommodation, the statement with the application says.

A statement with the application adds: “The student accommodation and Co-living buildings have been designed to create a vibrant community, with a dedicated communal amenity provision, promoting social interaction, well-being and activation.

“The main entrances to both buildings lead into an amenity hub space at ground floor, creating an impactful first impression, and this connects to a further amenity provision at lower ground level, allowing for double height spaces, and access to the communal courtyard garden. The provision of amenity space has been designed in line with best practice in terms of quantum and quality.

“The site benefits from sustainable transport links via bus, cycling and walking to the city centre, amenities and to the University of Exeter – including St Luke’s Campus directly opposite. Cycling is encouraged as a sustainable mode of transport and a dedicated storage provision has been provided for each use. The proposed masterplan has also been designed to allow for the potential plans to introduce a bus lane along Heavitree Road.”

Artist impression of the proposed student flats and co-living development for the former Magistrates' Court and police station site in Exeter

Artist impression of the proposed student flats and co-living development for the former Magistrates’ Court and police station site in Exeter

The statement continues: “This is a suitable location adjacent to St Luke’s campus for providing student residential accommodation, the new buildings positively address the distinctive topography of the area, and enhance the connection between street and buildings to encourage an active frontage and contribute to a higher quality, safer and more comfortable public realm around and through the site.

“It will enhance the pedestrian environment by removing vehicles from the site perimeter and the site accessibility for a pedestrian focused low car use development will encourage use of more sustainable modes of transport.”

It concludes: “The proposals look to deliver on the aspirations and opportunities that exist for the long-term investment and betterment of this site. The student accommodation provides 689 rooms and has been developed with award winning student accommodation provider Student Roost, to offer high quality, diverse living accommodation to suit different student needs, and to promote positive mental health and well-being. The Co-living accommodation provides 352 rooms across a range of high quality standard, premium and wheelchair accessible studios.

“The proposals will demand a sustainable approach to the design, construction and operation of the development, with an additional focus on occupant well-being, and the scheme features high quality contemporary architecture rooted in the site’s context.

“The team behind these exciting proposals are committed to achieving an exemplary development on this special site on a key route into Exeter.”

Artist impression of the proposed student flats and co-living development for the former Magistrates’ Court and police station site in Exeter

The magistrates’ court closed in 2020, with cases now being held at the Exeter Crown Court building instead, while the police station building also closed early in 2020, with officers now based at the new station at Middlemoor.

Exeter City Council planners will determine the fate of the applications at a later date.

One thought on “Another massive student flats plan for Exeter

  1. I cannot understand that this proposed development can seriously be considered. Why is precious land in the city still being contemplated for student housing.?

    1. The overwhelming need in Exeter is for affordable homes for families, not for young professionals.
    2. The campus of the university is a large site. Student housing should be sited here. Or does the vice-chancellor, Prof. Lisa Roberts, wish to keep the beautiful park-like setting to attract even more Chinese students than the 1,793 already present?

    Like

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