Green light tipped for Birmingham Uni’s Cambrian Wharf PBSA

Birmingham University hope the Cambrian Wharf development will create a ‘new campus-style’ expansion while allowing for a 10% growth in student numbers.

The proposed Cambrian Wharf student accommodation development | PBSA News
The proposed Cambrian Wharf student accommodation development. Source: Associated Architects.

Birmingham University looks set to get the green light for its Cambrian Wharf PBSA development, from Birmingham City Council. The project will deliver blocks rising to 35 storeys to house the huge number of students.

The proposals involve redeveloping the current campus accommodation on Brindley Drive. It was built in the 1970s and no longer meets the requirements for modern student living standards.

The new buildings will create in excess of 1,200 beds in a mix of 968 en-suite bedrooms, measuring 13m2 each, in clusters of five to eight; as well as 237 studios measuring 16.5m2. Amenities include a gym, dance studios, study spaces and social rooms – as well as external amenity spaces.

The new Cambrian Wharf building would enable all University College Birmingham students to live in the one building, as currently 827 student beds are at a separate building – The Maltings – located off Bath Row. If this development is approved, it will create an additional 131 student beds.

    “The proposals for the redevelopment of our existing student accommodation offer will strengthen the University’s ability to offer a world-class, supportive student experience in well-located, good value, quality accommodation.

    “This redevelopment provides an opportunity to widen the choice and supply of student bedrooms, whilst ensuring they are fulfilling the requirements of future students studying at the University.”

    Mark Payne, Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services, University College Birmingham

    University College Birmingham is progressing a full planning application for the development. It is is divided into two blocks – a 35-storey Canal Block and 15-storey Courtyard Block.

    The development will create a ‘new campus-style’ expansion of the university, while allowing for a 10% growth in student numbers.

    Birmingham City Council’s planning committee will review the plans on 11 July. 

    “The proposed development would see the delivery of a high-quality development in a sustainable location on brownfield land. 

    “The proposed scheme would make a meaningful contribution towards Birmingham’s housing shortfall, PBSA demand, and contribute towards the regeneration aspirations for this part of the city centre. 

    “It would create a distinctive place and allow for the growth of an established city centre educational establishment. The scheme would also provide economic, social and environmental benefits.”

    Report for the committee

    This promising news comes as a new Birmingham PBSA scheme could be on the horizon following plans submitted for local authority approval.

    Acting on behalf of asset manager Linden Hill, Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has submitted plans for the redevelopment of Maple House in Birmingham city centre to a 383-bed PBSA scheme.

    The proposals involve a major retrofit and refurbishment that will see the existing five-storey structure extended to ten storeys to provide 207 ensuite studios and 176 bed clusters of six, seven and ten. Facilities will include 164 bike spaces and a retained basement car park for this highly sustainable central location. Other amenities include study areas, a communal dining hall, games room and gym.