Vita Group begins consultation for new PBSA scheme in Newcastle

With plans to regenerate a former Barker & Stonehouse building, Vita Group is developing a new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Newcastle.

Image of the proposed Vita Student development in Newcastle | PBSA News
Image of the proposed Vita Student development in Newcastle.

Urban regeneration specialist Vita Group is bringing forward plans for the former Barker & Stonehouse building along with the neighbouring Strawberry House building on Leazes Park Road. The proposed development includes the demolition of the Barker & Stonehouse building, replacing it with a new PBSA building alongside the intention to save the old Strawberry House building by incorporating it into the designs to maintain the site’s heritage.

Designed for Vita Group’s student accommodation brand Vita Student, the plans include the creation of 250 studio apartments alongside a social and study space, gym, daily events, housekeeping and security. The building will be created using sustainable modern methods of construction and will include a better public realm.

It is proposed that the PBSA building will extend to six storeys in the south and step down to five storeys in the north. A 2.5-storey glazed link will connect the new PBSA building to Strawberry House, which will be internally refurbished to provide student accommodation and amenity space. 

Today (11 October 2023) from 4pm to 7pm at Vita Student Strawberry Place, Vita Group will be hosting a consultation event to talk through its plans for the new development. Residents and interested parties are invited to share their ideas for the redevelopment.

consultation page has also been created with information about the redevelopment. Detailed plans will be posted following the event for people to browse at their own leisure and provide feedback through the online feedback form.

“We’re delighted to share our ideas for the former Barker & Stonehouse building and look forward to meeting local residents and the wider city to talk through our proposal. Newcastle has a fantastic reputation as a great place to study, this reputation continues to draw more students’ year-on-year, creating greater demand on the city’s infrastructure, the redevelopment of this scheme could help to alleviate some of those pressures whilst adding to the city, creating a new thriving community.”

Max Bielby, Chief Operating Officer, Vita Group

Over the last decade, demand for Newcastle’s student accommodation has grown by c. 25%, with over 52,000 students studying in the city each year. There has also been significant growth from international students – 55% since the 2016/17 academic year. As a result, Newcastle has an undersupply of 16,000 student beds, increasing demand on the city’s wider housing market.