H2 2023 PBSA developments with planning submitted 

A round up of H2 2023 purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developments across the UK that have had planning applications submitted.

Concept image of the proposed The Hotspur Press development in Manchester | Manner | PBSA News
Concept image of the proposed The Hotspur Press development in Manchester.

Devonshire Place

In July, Regal London submitted plans for 941 student bedrooms and 200 new on-site affordable homes at Devonshire Place – its second PBSA scheme at the development. The 0.7 hectare site is located at 747-759 Old Kent Road and 765-775 Old Kent Road opposite the proposed new Bakerloo Line station in the London Borough of Southwark. 

Plans for Devonshire Place include the potential for a new convenience food store, GP surgery and new transport infrastructure upgrades. The under-utilised brownfield site will also create a mixed community through the creation of a community hub and café, open spaces, and quality public realm providing greenery and access for all.

Ocean Point 2

In September, property developer S Harrison Developments submitted a planning application for a residential-led development at Ocean Point 2 in Leith, delivering much-needed student accommodation to the city. Ocean Point 2 is set to deliver 404 PBSA beds that will be split between cluster accommodation and studio bedrooms. The former accommodation is intended to be a mix of five and six bedrooms.

The extension of the tram line between Edinburgh and Ocean Terminal also provides connectivity between the development and Edinburgh city centre within 20 minutes. The development neighbours Ocean Terminal, which is set to undergo a £100m transformation, delivering a mixed-use development comprising residential, commercial, retail and hospitality.  

The Core shopping centre redevelopment

The joint venture between real estate firm Tri7 and student accommodation provider Fusion Students submitted a planning application for a new PBSA scheme. Following extensive pre-application consultations held with the public across two events with the council, the Civic Society and Historic England, planning was submitted to Leeds City Council.  

The proposals will deliver a student-led mixed-use development on the site of The Core shopping centre, which will be demolished as part of the redevelopment. It will be replaced by three towers between five and nine storeys, delivering 807 student bedrooms and around 36,000 sq ft of retail and commercial space at ground level, including two new arcades that will further connect the city and enhance the community.

Central Quay

3DReid, Graeme Nicholls Architects and re-form landscape architecture submitted plans to Glasgow City Council on behalf of Summix Capital for a mixed-use development comprising PBSA, residential for sale and commercial uses, with associated landscaping and public realm on a brownfield site at the development.

Through its design, Central Quay has paid homage to its 18th century history, from the textiles, the colours of the historic pottery from the area – China white and basalt black – and the distinct tones from the scheme’s past. The proposed urban strategy defines four development plots. Plot A, B and D have been developed by 3DReid and Plot C is by Graeme Nicholls Architects.

Springfield House

In November, developer McLaren Property submitted a planning application to Leeds City Council for a 332-bed PBSA scheme, including the refurbishment and conversion of Grade II Listed Springfield House.

The refurbished Springfield House will be complemented by two new wings that will deliver 138 studios and 194 cluster bedrooms. Each wing is self-contained with its own private landscaped courtyard, laundry, refuse and cycle provision. Residents will also benefit from its central location, which provides good transport links and integrated cycle storage. The development will target BREEAM Excellent and EPC A ratings.

Gillespie Crescent, Edinburgh

National charity Sight Scotland and developer S Harrison Developments jointly submitted a planning application to redevelop the site of the charity’s former HQ on Gillespie Crescent in Edinburgh into student homes. The funds released by the sale of the site will enable Sight Scotland to further expand its reach, to support even more people living with sight loss within existing services such as the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.

The new proposals include demolition of the existing vacant building and replacing it with PBSA. The scheme will deliver 145 bedrooms with amenities including a cinema/multimedia room and gym. There will also be 100% cycle parking provision. The sustainable development will feature green roofs, solar panels, air source heat pumps (ASHP), a rain garden and permeable paving. 

The Àrd 

Developer and manager of residential for rent Watkin Jones Group submitted a planning application to Glasgow City Council last month for The Àrd PBSA development. The scheme is set to regenerate the brownfield site of Portcullis House at Charing Cross, if planning is approved. The two buildings of 36-storeys and ten-storeys will include 784 student beds.

A sky lounge on the top floor of the taller building will provide a viewing deck for far reaching views of the surrounding cityscape. This space will be used for pre-booked institutional, civic and business type events. The Àrd will also provide the charity, Glasgow Social Enterprise Network (GSEN), with a new home as it will occupy a ground floor unit free of charge.

The Hotspur Press

Regenerative developer Manner submitted planning to Manchester City Council to restore The Hotspur Press in the Oxford Road Corridor into a PBSA scheme. It will include 36-storeys of student accommodation delivering 578 student study-bedrooms, a new public square, and connected public realm improvements for the wider community.

The proposed scheme on Manchester’s Cambridge Street incorporates a range of low to zero carbon technologies, creating a modern yet sustainable building. The car free proposals will achieve an environment performance rating of Excellent. Ideally situated close to The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, The Hotspur Press is set to provide much-needed student accommodation in the city centre.

The Merrion Centre

Town Centre Securities PLC (TCS) submitted a ground-breaking planning application that is set to transform the iconic one million sq ft mixed used scheme. The Merrion Centre is looking to introduce residential accommodation to its dynamic offering that has been proudly part of the retail, office, and leisure landscape of Leeds for the last 60 years.

Proposals include two new buildings designed to deliver 1,110 student bedrooms, comprising a range of studios and cluster bedrooms. Amenities will include residents’ lounges, co-working spaces, meeting spaces, a cinema, gym, karaoke room, 191 secure cycle spaces and external terraces. The Merrion Centre PBSA development would involve the conversion of the 13 storey 1960’s office building Wade House, which has been predominantly vacant since May 2021.