The student accommodation specialist has made alterations to its proposed 55-storey tower, to be built on the site of a multi-storey car park on Hulme Street.
Glenn Howells Architects is the scheme’s designer, with Deloitte instructed as planning adviser. The project was revealed and submitted for planning in September 2018, but is yet to go to planning committee.
At 165m tall, the development is to house more than 850 students, with the September application detailing around 6,000 sq ft of communal and ancillary spaces for student use, along with an 8,000 sq ft co-working space for SMEs, and a common area on the top floor.
Deloitte’s covering letter to the council outlines the main changes to the application as:
- An amended unit layout resulting in an increase in the average studio size: 99% of studios will now be more than 185 sq ft
- A 16% increase in amenity floor areas, increasing from 14,267 sq ft to 16,979 sq ft
- Three additional studios, taking the scheme to 852 bedspaces.
- A revised cycle parking strategy that results in a minor increase to cycle spaces and more bikes for free use by student residents
- A revised core location for the scheme’s co-working space
Deloitte said: “These improvements have resulted from a detailed design review, which has increased the size of the basement for plant and achieved greater floorspace efficiencies above ground.”
Although the external appearance of the building will be largely unaltered, there will be some minor changes, such as the relocation of the entrance for the co-working space, following the changes to layout. The external massing of the building is unchanged.
Deloite added: “Overall, the proposed amendments will have a positive impact on the proposed development, as they will increase social amenity space and make it more accessible by being more widely spread through the building.”
It also said the refreshed co-working layout would make that space more attractive to start-ups, and said that the free bicycle provision would encourage residents to use sustainable transport and pursue an active lifestyle.
The amount of free bikes is a dramatic increase: from 60 Student Castle bikes out of 258 cycle spaces; the scheme now includes 234 secure cycle lockers containing folding bikes, representing 89% of the 262 cycle spaces now included. Bikes will be booked through reception and maintained by Student Castle. Deloitte added that the amount of living space per student, benchmarked against comparable schemes recently approved in Manchester, is above average.
There are alos changes to the part of the car park that will remain in situ along with the tower. The application outlines partial reconfiguration of the car park, including temporary access off Hulme Street, construction of five-storey external ramps, closure of vehicular access to top level and re-cladding of the retained facade.
Prior to this scheme, Student Castle was best known in the city for its 37-storey building at nearby 1 Great Marlborough Street, completed in 2013 and then sold on to Liberty Living two years later.