Work under way on multi-million-pound student accommodation scheme set to be town's largest

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 January 2020

Student accommodation under construction in Wadham Street.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Student accommodation under construction in Wadham Street. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Construction has started on a multi-million-pound student accommodation project in the centre of Weston.

Parkside House, in Grove Road, will be the town's largest student-accommodation scheme, providing a temporary home for students attending courses at University Centre Weston.

The former HMRC building was acquired by student-accommodation specialists DPL Partnership and West End Investments from a private vendor for £2.5million. It will be the developers' first scheme in Weston, having previously overseen development of The Platform and the St Stephens House student-accommodation projects in Bristol.

The Weston building, which has been vacant for six years, will be extended and have an extra floor added. It will be converted into 109 student bed spaces including five studio apartments, 15 two-bed studio apartments and cluster accommodation.

The finished complex, which will be overseen by an on-site warden, will also include facilities for students such as laundry and study rooms, a gym and a dance studio. Students are now able to reserve a room online at the complex, with the developers promising the accommodation will feature '1gb ultra-fast wi-fi'.

They said the site was designed to support students with learning disabilities and difficulties with accessible studios, and 'some rooms have adjustable lighting levels, neutral colour schemes and blackout blinds'.

A spokesperson for Weston College, which has endorsed the scheme, said: "When complete, the property will be a welcome addition to the existing provision provided by the private sector and available for our students to let.

"This new property comes at a time when the College continues to buck the national trend and see 5 per cent annual growth in the number of learners coming to study degrees at University Centre Weston."

Planning permission for the project was secured last year, and it is scheduled to be ready for occupation by September 2020.

Tom Dugay, from property consultants Alder King, said: "This office property has lain vacant for over six years.

"This scheme will finally bring it back into use and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the Grove Park area, as well as the town centre."

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