Student accommodation scheme seeks revised permission for rooftop terrace

Proposed changes
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One of Liverpool’s largest student housing developments, now nearing completion, goes back before the city’s planning committee on Tuesday (July 27) with the promise of a rooftop terrace for its residents.

True Student, the operator of Aura, a 999-room development opposite the Royal Hospital, is seeking permission for a number of amendments designed to improve the student experience.

Among them are a reorganised gymnasium on the lower ground floor and the introduction of the company’s festival zone, a new café on the ground floor that will be open to students and public alike, and a private rooftop terrace and sky lounge on the 15th floor.

The move follows the successful acquisition of the scheme by a consortium of its original investors, Aura Investors. A revised strategy, focusing on reducing bedroom numbers in exchange for enhanced amenities, is one of the reasons behind its planning application.

Additional investment in public realm is also planned by the investors via an uplift to the Section 106 contribution of more than £1m.

Steve Nicholson, the project architect from the Liverpool studio of Falconer Chester Hall, said: “The works will have a minimal impact on the building’s exterior, but will add significantly to what is already going to be a great place to live and study.

“The investors’ focus will position the development as the most attractive scheme in a well-served market, moving it beyond its locational advantages to one underpinned by strong, inherent appeal.”

Aura

The revisions have gone to committee with a planning officer’s recommendation to approve and work would begin immediately on the changes if permission is granted, said Mr Nicholson.

Liverpool-based Vermont is the contractor. Phase one of the scheme, which incorporates three blocks, is due for completion in September, with the remaining two blocks to be completed by September 2022.

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