PBSA PBSA Planning

Curlew Capital secure planning for PBSA redevelopment in Stratford

Curlew Capital has secured planning permission for a new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development in Stratford, London.

UK alternative real estate development, asset and fund manager – Curlew Capital – has received resolution to grant planning for a 282-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development in Stratford, East London. 

The architect for the scheme was Henley Halebrown and Knight Frank advised Curlew Capital, who’s development arm – Curlew Opportunities – led the planning application and will be responsible for the construction of the c. £60m PBSA scheme. Construction is expected to start later this year subject to the signing of a Section 106 agreement. Completion is expected for the start of the 2023/24 academic year.

The new PBSA development will see the demolition of Poland House, an existing 100-bed student property acquired by Curlew in 2019. It will deliver a 282-cluster bed scheme with a high level of amenity, support and community space.

The development will be on Stratford High Street – close to Westfield Shopping Centre and the Olympic Park. The scheme benefits from excellent transport connectivity via the nearby Stratford International and Stratford High Street stations, as well as the significant regeneration and investment in and around Olympic Park.

“This is an exciting redevelopment project in a thriving part of London and we are excited that our vision for the scheme is shared by other local stakeholders. Stratford has undergone a significant transformation and we look forward to delivering a high-quality asset that meets the demands of modern students, including impressive ESG credentials.

“Despite the challenges faced by the PBSA sector over the past 12 months, it has proved itself to be remarkably resilient versus other use classes. With the longer-term fundamentals highly compelling, we look forward to bringing forward our significant development pipeline, to meet what we believe will be growing demand from both domestic and overseas students.”

Jim Sutherland, Head of Development, Curlew Capital

Curlew is targeting a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating for the building, which will make it one of only a handful of PBSA developments in the UK to achieve this, with features including carbon-reducing technology. The development’s ESG credentials will be further demonstrated by the inclusion of 160 sqm of community space for use by local charities, start-ups and community programmes. Curlew is also in discussions to ensure local jobs and apprenticeships are secured through the construction phase – alongside opportunities to partner with/support local stakeholders, including schools.

“We have worked closely with stakeholders to design a building of the highest quality, which will contribute significantly to Stratford High Street and provide best-in-class accommodation. Delivering such a high-quality scheme with clear, tangible public benefits was ultimately what secured Councillor support. 

“We’re pleased to have advised Curlew and commend their commitment to this standout scheme.”  

Chris Benham, Planning Partner, Knight Frank

Curlew’s growing PBSA footprint in London now totals 467 beds in development, following its September 2020 c. £60m commitment to fund a 185-room development in Bermondsey, South East London. Across the UK, Curlew is currently bringing forward six schemes totalling c. 1,600 beds.

Curlew Capital launched its first fund – Curlew Student Trust – in 2013, followed by CST2 in 2018, both of which were backed by clients of CBRE GIP. To date, Curlew Capital has committed over £1bn to the PBSA sector, representing nearly 11,000 beds across 34 schemes in 23 major university markets; a mix of direct developments, refurbishment and forward fundings.

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