Carlisle student village plan moves forward again
Last updated at 09:18, Monday, 17 February 2014
Work on a £10 million student and arts village in Denton Holme, Carlisle, could begin this autumn.
City businessmen Bob McKnight and John Macintosh won planning consent in 2011 to provide 196 student bedrooms and 40 craft workshops on derelict industrial land at Denton Business Park, Denton Street.
They did not start immediately, citing concerns that increased tuition fees from 2012 might reduce the student intake at the University of Cumbria.
In the event, numbers held up well.
Now, it is understood, they have agreed terms to sell the site to a specialist developer from outside the county.
The new owner would begin building work later this autumn with a view to accepting the first students in September 2015.
In the meantime, Mr Macintosh has applied for planning consent to vary conditions attached to the 2011 planning consent to allow demolition of redundant buildings in readiness for redevelopment.
The approved scheme – which might be tweaked by the new owner – is for four accommodation blocks, up to five storeys high, between Denton Street, Collingwood Street and Blencowe Street.
Access for vehicles is through a secure gated arch from Blencowe Street, designed to be an architectural feature. There is an outside area for performances and sculpture, a meeting room, exhibition space, internet cafe and launderette.
The workshops will allow graduates to set up in business. The scheme is the second major student accommodation project for Denton Holme.
Border Construction opened the first phase of a redevelopment of the old Kangol factory in Norfolk Street in September 2012.
The units house 249 students from the University of Cumbria and are fully occupied. Border too was reluctant to push ahead with the second phase until the impact of higher tuition fees became clear.
When complete, the £16m scheme will accommodate nearly 500 students in 13 three and four-storey town houses.
Ian Wishart, business development manager at Border Construction, said: “Phase one has been very successful and it is still the company’s intention to proceed with phase two.”
There is no firm start date, however.
Border had planned to sell the completed phase one to a property company.
It has yet to find a buyer but Mr Wishart said that the failure to agree a sale would not prevent phase two from going ahead.
He said: “It’s still our intention to sell the development on.
“That process is ongoing and there has been an uptake in interest because we can now show that the scheme has a track record.
“Next year we will have students who have stayed with us for three years throughout their degree course.”
First published at 09:15, Monday, 17 February 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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