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With both Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria growing, the housing market in Lancaster is growing. Recently submitted plans for a student village would bring another 630 student bed spaces to the city.
London-based Hines UK Ltd, which has a global presence in 182 cities and 20 countries, with $89.1bn of assets under management, are the applicants. The village, named “The Courtyard” is placed between Caton Road and Bulk Road on land previously earmarked for a hotel and retail use. A nearby resident of Bulk Road, David Wilson, told Hines UK “I have seen the plans for the development of the site. The finish would appear suitable and I would have no objections – something needs to be done with this ‘eye sore’ site. It is the first thing most people see when visiting Lancaster.” While some may worry that a student village would do little to enhance the landscape, the company promises that each of the buildings would be distinct in appearance, using historical and architectural references to Lancaster.
The plans include 125 studio flats, 50 cluster flats, and 19 shared townhouses, with an 11-storey curved glass fronted building opposite what is currently Dana Hand Car Wash in Caton Road. Even more, the proposal submitted also outlines plans that would include the creation of eight separate buildings up to eleven storeys high to create the student accommodation, a study library, gym, car parking and major public realm works.
After the controversy surrounding the proposed student housing near The Sugarhouse last term, possible concerns around similar issues such as the Lancaster Civic Society’s former concern around the creation of “student ghetto’s” as Martin Widden, of the society, commented on the former issue that “The Society would very much like to see the city council adopt a policy that places a limit on the proportion of accommodation in any area that is aimed particularly at the student market.” While the proposal faces city council, student and resident feelings can still be taken into account. Check out lancaster.gov.uk or the Have Your Say email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to voice your opinion.