Revised plans revealed for £10m Plymouth student flats development
WORK on a £10million city centre student flats complex could start this autumn, developers say.
The first phase of the scheme, in Regent Street, will see 146 student bedrooms and 14 studio flats built on the site of existing homes and warehouses.
A Tiverton company, Colourcolt Student Living, is seeking permission for the project and intends to market the flats individually or in blocks.
The designs, just submitted to Plymouth City Council planners, are a modified version of a scheme already approved. The layout has been changed to allow it to be subdivided for funding purposes, developer Simon Hare said.
It will have more studio flats and fewer bedrooms. The original permission was for 193 student bedrooms within 36 cluster flats and only two studio flats. In the latest design there will be 146 bedrooms in 36 clusters sharing lounges and kitchens.
"We have changed the project so we can create six buildings rather than one, so we can then sell the flats individually or in blocks," Mr Hare said.
This proposal is for the first phase of a development on the site bounded by Regent Street, Gibbons Street and Gilwell Place, close to the university campus.
Other plans will follow as and when the land becomes available.
"We would like to be on site this September and have the first lets ready for September next year," Mr Hare said.
"After that, it depends on how the marketing goes as to how many of the six blocks we build."
Regent Terrace, Hampton Cottages and two warehouses will have to be demolished to make way for the first phase of the development.
"There is a potential in future to develop the neighbouring site, which includes a Co-op food store," he said.
"This is probably the best site in Plymouth for students, two minutes' walk from the university and in the middle of a student area."
Mr Hare has applied to be part of the city council's market recovery scheme, which would allow him to pay a reduced contribution of about £56,000 to offset the impact on the surrounding community. In return, work would have to start within two years.
The development, which will be known as Hampton Court, will be marketed through Lang and Co. Rooms and studios will all be en-suite with a double bed, and the building is designed around a central courtyard. The main entrance is from Regent Street into a manned foyer.
The seven-storey block, designed by Exeter-based architect Robin Jones, will be near other similar buildings.
James Clarke of Lang and Co said the rentals were expected to give nine per cent gross return "which these days is pretty good".
"We also think we might get Mums and Dads who might buy rooms for their children who come here as students."
At present the application for full planning permission is expected to be approved by officers in the planning department without needing to be referred to councillors.