Property company Centreland has been granted permission to transform a city centre eyesore into brand new student accommodation.
The private property developers and investors, with offices in Newcastle and London, have been given the green lightt to start work on the seven-storey building on Westgate Road, Newcastle – a project which will begin with a long-awaited demolition.
The student block for 259 young residents will be constructed on land at the bottom of Westgate Road, on land once occupied by the former Westgate House in Newcastle, which blocked views as it straddled Westgate Road.
That concrete carbuncle was knocked down seven years ago following a campaign for its demolition.
The site has lain vacant ever since, and sits alongside the empty Norwich Union House – which will now also be taken apart to make way for the new structure, owned jointly by Centreland and the Homes Communities Agency.
The student block will be developed under the VitaBrand.
Neil Adamson from Centreland said: “We are really pleased that this successful planning application will bring this abandoned site back into use for the students of Newcastle.”
Alistair Haworth, capital development manager at the Homes Communities Agency added: “The plans for this site will be great for local people and for the city of Newcastle.
“Our partners have the vision and ability to create a building ideal for one of the main gateways to the city and the proposal will not only make a significant difference to this part of the cityscape but will also provide much needed student accommodation.”
The planning announcement comes as it emerged Newcastle City Council‘s planning committee has granted permission for the creation of 45 new student accommodation blocks and conversions since 2008.
Some developments are still to be completed – and some may not come to fruition – but between them, the plans would mean eventually there will be enough bed spaces in Newcastle to house 11,524 students who attend both Newcastle University and Northumbria University.