£7.5m Newcastle student housing development gets the go-ahead

Student property company Ziggurat has been granted consent for an 89-bedroom scheme on Claremont Place in Newcastle

Properties at Claremont Place, Newcastle, due to be converted into studio flats for students
Properties at Claremont Place, Newcastle, due to be converted into studio flats for students

Student property company Ziggurat has been granted planning consent for the conversion of eight Newcastle properties into 89 self-contained residential studios for students.

The £7.5m scheme, on Claremont Place, will provide generously sized rooms, with ensuite bathrooms and kitchens. The buildings, set in gardens close to Newcastle University, will also have an on-site management office with a dedicated 24-hour response team, communal laundry and refuse facilities, and a secure cycle storage area.

This latest development comes within a hugely successful year for Ziggurat, which has also developed and recently refinanced a 65-bed student scheme in Edinburgh’s Cowgate area and gained approval for a €17m redevelopment of the former Montrose Hotel in Dublin.

The Claremont Place buildings were put on the market by Newcastle University in 2012, with Ziggurat exchanging contracts to acquire them in April of this year. Extensive design work has been carried out to ensure that the period character of the 19th Century townhouses is retained, with many ornate internal features incorporated into the scheme plan.

Jim Pike, who founded the company in 2009 with Matt McAdden, said: “This was an obvious opportunity to deliver a high quality studio scheme into the Newcastle student market place. You could not find a better located scheme in terms of a quality setting right next to Newcastle University and with easy access to the city centre. There are hundreds of purpose-built rooms on the other side of the central motorway, but this is going to be something very unique and special.”

Work will commence on the refurbishment in early 2014, with Ziggurat then marketing the studios from the start of the 2015 academic year.

The company believes the high quality setting will be particularly attractive to post-graduate students, but the studios will also be available for undergraduates.

Professor Tony Stevenson, pro vice chancellor for planning and resources at Newcastle University, said: “This project shows our commitment to improving and increasing the accommodation we can offer to our students. It is just one part of a series of investments that the university is planning to make in the coming years to ensure we can offer students the quality of accommodation they want.”

Storeys Edward Symmons acted for Ziggurat, while Newcastle University was represented by GVA in the transaction.

The plans were prepared by CAG Architects, with Summers Inman advising Ziggurat on construction and cost planning issues. Walker Morris is acting Ziggurat’s legal representative, while Eversheds represented the university.

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