New images unveiled of multi-million pound student flats development
- Credit: HOST/TIGER DEVELOPMENTS
Work has started on a £16million development aimed at providing more than 250 new homes for university students in Colchester.
New artist's impressions from student accommodation provider Host reveal the scale of the development, on the site of the former bus depot in Magdalen Street.
Self-contained studio flats, en-suite 'cluster' apartments with private bedrooms and bathrooms, a gym, quiet study area and seminar room are all planned for the scheme, which was given the green light in October 2018.
If all goes to plan, the flats will be ready in August 2020, with the first students set to move in the following month.
"This development in Colchester town centre will provide a great place for students to live within a very short distance of the University of Essex, one of the top 10 fastest growing universities in the UK," said Keith Dean, of developers Host and Tiger.
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"It will offer first year students a welcoming, reassuring and stress-free start to their university life."
It is also hoped the development will revitalise the Magdalen Street area.
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Anti-social behaviour has been an issue at the former bus depot in recent years, with a number of arson attacks reported since 2017.
Planning officers at Colchester Borough Council had previously expressed hopes that the student flats scheme would help to regenerate the area.
However, there were some objectors - including former Colchester MP Bob Russell, who came out against these plans and a similar scheme planned for the former bus station, in the town's so-called Cultural Quarter.
He opposed the granting of planning permission for the Magdalen Street development, adding: "The borough council sold the site of the former council bus garage in Magdalen Street for student accommodation, and what we have here is a building completely out of keeping both in scale and appearance."
He also criticised the current state of the building, which is under construction, branding it "hideous".
A CBC spokesman said: "The objections raised by Sir Bob Russell regarding the detailed design and contextual appropriateness were carefully considered by the planning committee as part of their deliberations."
Developer Alumno's separate bid for 336 student rooms and a Travelodge hotel in the Cultural Quarter was thrown out by the council's planning committee in February.
The authority is set to defend its decision to reject the plans at an inquiry next week.