Salford student village overhaul set for green light

Developer Student Cribs’ proposal to redevelop the Waterside student village in Salford has been recommended for approval by planners.

The site, off Frederick Road and adjacent to the IQ student development, currently houses 13 blocks of accommodation, of two or three storeys each, with a total of 247 beds provided. Students make up the majority of the clientele, with a small number of families on site.

Student Cribs is a provider of second, third and fourth-year student accommodation with more than 2,500 bed spaces across 23 cities, in both standalone sites and houses of multiple occupation. The business proposes a redevelopment at Waterside that will increase the number of total units slightly, to 134, but significantly increase the volume of bed spaces, to 511. It acquired Waterside for £11.3m in 2017.

Planner Nineteen47 has put together the application on behalf of Student Cribs. Powell Dobson is the architect for the project, while GL Hearn has provided a student accommodation demand survey.

The plans include a mix of interventions, ranging from the removal of existing blocks and their replacement by new blocks, to single-storey extensions to other blocks and internal reconfigurations. All buildings will be repainted or reclad. Broadly, the scheme will be extended upwards to reach the four storey height of neighbouring buildings. An accommodation and wellbeing office is to be added within the ground floor of one block, while landscaping plans have been submitted. The applicant said the central green could be used for markets.

Nineteen47’s planning statement said: “In their present form, the existing buildings are reaching the end of their lifespan as they do not provide the standard of accommodation that aligns with the expectation of many students in today’s student housing market.

“Externally the appearance of the buildings is uninspiring and does not fulfil modern design standards demonstrated in recently approved developments. Furthermore, the site is lacking in legibility and sense of place. The proposals seek to address these shortfalls by providing a modern and vibrant environment which offers high quality accommodation that is commensurate with that found across the applicant’s existing portfolio.”

Approval is recommended on the condition that contributions are made to the improvement of public realm in the area, along with primary school places, bus stops and to sports facilities at Peel Park.

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