Watkin Jones has announced the unconditional acquisition of the former HMRC site in the heart of Swansea – ahead of submitting plans to create circa 350 student homes. This is Watkin Jones’ third major acquisition announcement since the start of 2021.
Watkin Jones has begun consultation with the local community ahead of submitting a planning application later in the year. The purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme will include studios and cluster student accommodation – as well as communal and amenity facilities. Watkin Jones is already active in Swansea, having recently developed and completed a three-phase 967-bed scheme in the city.
The acquired HMRC site – which previously housed the Valuation Office Agency – is located next to Swansea railway station in the city centre. The proposed PBSA scheme will add much needed student housing capacity in the city, as student numbers rise.
Swansea University student numbers have increased 11.5% over the last three years. And students from Trinity St David’s University have increased by 47.9%. UCAS also recently reported an overall increase in student applications for September 2021.
“Swansea is a fantastic place to be a student and the recent growth in student numbers reflects the continued success of the city’s universities. There is pressure on local housing for students that in turn puts pressure on the wider market, so we’re excited to bring forward our proposals to revitalise this site for the long-term and create a brilliant new place to live.”
“We continue to see very strong demand for high-quality student homes across the UK. Students and their families increasingly value purpose-built and managed accommodation, which offers inbuilt community and wellbeing support. This year has seen the largest ever proportion of school leavers applying to university, a trend that is projected to continue alongside increased international demand.”Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer, Watkin Jones