Real estate developer – Dominvs Group – has received resolution to grant planning for the Square Mile scheme, a new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development in Holborn, supported by the London School of Economics. The site is at 61-65 Holborn Viaduct. Planning was approved this week by the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee. The consent followed a strong officer’s recommendation in favour of the scheme.
Dominvs worked closely with the London School of Economics (LSE) on the scheme, located a few minutes’ walk from the university’s main campus. The LSE seeks to increase its number of student beds from 4,500 to 6,000 over the next five years, following the Government’s recent commitment to the enrolment of 600,000 international students by 2030.
“This high-quality scheme is a positive step in the Square Mile’s rapid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The addition of new student accommodation will mark another step toward the creation of a thriving 24/7 city and we look forward to welcoming students to this area, who we hope will be the business leaders and innovators of the future.
“We are thrilled at the ongoing confidence shown by world-class universities, developers and investors as we continue to strive to make the City of London ever-more sustainable and inclusive.”Alastair Moss, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee
Designed by Stiff + Trevillion Architects and Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, the Square Mile PBSA scheme will deliver 644 urgently needed student beds in the heart of Central London. Rooms provide a mix of bedroom types including studios, two-dios and ensuites including cluster apartments, with 64 proposed to be wheelchair accessible.
The development will target BREEAM Excellent and has been designed to be climate resilient – including urban greening and water saving measures – with the aim of reducing operational carbon emissions.
In line with Dominvs Group’s commitment to social value, the Square Mile development will deliver high quality space for student interaction as well as amenity space for the local community. The scheme will offer a range of amenities which include an on-site cafe/bar, cinema room, music rooms, games area and gym. Students also benefit from access to local public transport and 494 long-term and 32 short stay cycle parking spaces, of which 5% will be accessible for adapted cycles.
Building upon the success of the Gaia’s Garden project, which is the current use of the site, the ground floor of the scheme will house a mix of cultural and performance space in partnership with the Creative Land Trust – a charity supported by the Mayor of London and Arts Council England, for the local community to exhibit artworks and collaborate.
The local community and wider general public will also benefit from an improved public realm, including a new viaduct connecting Holborn Viaduct and Snow Hill, as well as a gateway to the new Museum of London at Smithfield’s. The public will also have access to a roof terrace offering panoramic views across the east of the city towards St Paul’s Cathedral.
“From extensive consultation with the City Corporation and key local stakeholders we sought fresh thinking, submitting a scheme that enriches the existing neighbourhood while meeting the need for purpose-built student accommodation in the area.
“Our scheme introduces a new, highly sustainable building of exemplary design quality, including cultural and community use across ground floor level, a publicly accessible roof terrace with views towards St. Paul’s Cathedral, and significant public realm improvements, including active frontages and a new pedestrian route connecting Holborn Viaduct with the Museum of London.
“The application was brought forward with support from the London School of Economics and we are working with the Creative Land Trust to help deliver an exciting cultural and community use offer.”Jay Ahluwalia, Director, Dominvs Group