Working in partnership with Burnley Council and Barnfield Construction, the university is set to win planning consent for a student accommodation scheme on the site of the Neptune pub at Sandygate Square.
The project forms part of a wider plan to make Burnley one Lancashire’s “leading university towns”, with UCLan and the council’s ambition to increase the student population from 400 to 4,000 by 2025.
To support this growth, the council and the university are proposing to build a 136-bedroom student accommodation scheme, along with car parking and three commercial units, on Sandygate Square, within the Weavers’ Triangle conservation area.
The four-storey development will feature a mix of single en-suite bedrooms arranged in clusters, along with a gym, social space, study room, and communal student facilities, while the three commercial units range from 1,200 sq ft to 800 sq ft in size. Barnfield Construction has supported the planning application for the site, and Campbell Driver Partnership is the architect.
The proposals will replace the existing Neptune pub, which is locally listed. Historic England has raised concerns over the potential loss of the building, arguing that while it is in “poor condition”, it could be included within the development to be repaired and converted.
“While we welcome the re-development of the site and the enhancement this would bring to the conservation area, we are disappointed about the loss of the historic building and the failure to integrate it into the wider re-development proposals,” argued the heritage body.
“This loss would cause harm that needs clear and convincing justification in relation to the public benefits of the scheme.”
Despite these objections, planning officers have recommended the scheme be given the green light when Burnley’s development control committee meets tomorrow, arguing the proposals would “regenerate a key vacant site in the Weavers’ Triangle”.
On the demolition of the pub, officers said: “The demolition of Neptune Inn has been fully justified and the new building has been designed to reflect and reinforce the role of the Neptune Inn in terms of its contribution to the character and appearance of the local townscape.”
Other projects forming part of UCLan’s plans for the town include Victoria Mill, the former University Technical College which was purchased by UCLan last year.