Liverpool approves hundreds of student rooms

A LARGE number of student rooms have been approved by Liverpool City Council’s planning committee.

Three applications for around 1,000 rooms were presented to the committee as well as two others for nearly 250 apartments aimed at young professionals. All were approved.

At least one of the student applications stirred opposition from nearby residents who feel the density of such accommodation is too high.

Gipsy International’s plan for 398 rooms, on the site of the former Imperial Student Halls of Residence at the junction of Byrom Street and Great Crosshall Street, attracted 53 complaints and a petition, with 168 signatures.

The city has 20,500 purpose built student bedspaces but developers say demand is strong and there is scope for more. The council does not have any policies restricting student accommodation.

Applications in Tuesday’s planning agenda included:

* System 3 Ltd’s proposal for 352 beds in a five-storey block at Chatham Place, Overbury Street and Queensland Street.

* An 11 and nine storey building with 317 beds between Norfolk Street and Brick Street in the Baltic Triangle by Pinnacle Student Developments. Confusingly Pinnacle says this scheme already has permission and it was seeking consent for an 86-apartment student scheme in Greek Street behind Lime Street railway station.

* Gipsy International has applied to build 398 student rooms in a 12 and 14-storey building fronting onto Byrom Street, Fontenoy Street and Great Crosshall Street.

There was also a Baltic Triangle application for 156 “compact residential studios… not specifically targeted at the student market” in Simpson Street by Baltic Developments Ltd, and a plan by Jamworks to convert the upper floors of 11-17 Parker Street into 91 apartments – 72 dubbed “micro apartments” and 19 one-bed.

Alex Shaw, a spokesman for Pinnacle, said: “We can see in cities like Liverpool that there’s a dearth of purpose built student accommodation. It only accounts for 20% of the accommodation available.”

Four of the schemes considered by the committee – System 3, Gipsy International, Jamworks and Baltic Developments – were designed by Liverpol architect Falconer Chester Hall.

Managing director Adam Hall said: “Usually we are representing one, or occasionally two clients, on these occasions, but to have four projects up for planning is extremely rare. The practice has been incredibly busy with work here in Liverpool, and today demonstrated the strength of our order book.”