Plans for a 10-storey building accommodating 214 student bedspaces at the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus have been approved at the second time of asking.
The plans were included in the university’s three-part estate redevelopment plan that was due to considered by Lancaster City Council’s planning committee at the beginning of March, but were deferred over drainage issues.
Later that month, the council approved two of the three proposals – a 92-bedroom extra care scheme and a 13-bedroom supported living development to replace several vacant buildings at the southern end of the Bowerham Road campus near the junction of Coulston Road and Golgotha Road.
Those buildings are to be demolished under the university’s plans. However, a decision on the 200-bed student accommodation block remained pending.
This element, the largest part of the project, includes the demolition of the existing ten-storey William Thompson Tower and other single-storey buildings, replacing them with a block varying in height between eight, nine and 10 storeys.
This would accommodate student living in clusters of five or six bedrooms, each served by a kitchen and dining area, and supported by additional social space on each floor.
Day Architectural is the scheme’s designer, and the professional team also includes LKSF, Scalia Planning and Urban Green.
Lancaster’s planning officers recommended approval ahead of the meeting, describing the plans as an improvement on the “negative impact” of the existing building. They added that “a worsening of sunlight loss to a small number of properties on Cumberland View is outweighed by the removal of actual and perceived overlooking from existing closer windows than those proposed”.
Officers added that the provision of on-site student accommodation would reduce reliance on private cars and free up family housing for other parts of the community.