Plans for 400 student homes next to campus

Plans for a complex of flats for students on the doorstep of the University of Sheffield have been revised so it can now accommodate almost 400.

Already council approval has been granted for shared apartments and studios to be built between Broad Lane and Garden Street on the edge of the city centre that would have a total of 287 bedrooms.

Now the developers are asking for permission for another 110 by reallocating floors initially intended for teaching space. The scale of the buildings, up to nine storeys facing Broad Lane, remains the same.

And one of the key aims is also unchanged - to attract overseas and mature students.

In general, student accommodation specialists Watkin Jones, who already have a block opposite the Broad Lane site, estimate that Sheffield needs more purpose-built student homes.

Even if all the schemes in the planning pipeline materialise, there would still be 15,800 students in the private rented sector unable to access purpose-built accommodation, they say.

Many projects with council approval are at least three years old and provide a lower standard of accommodation than is now being proposed, it is argued. Others are located further away from campuses.

Watkin Jones believe they are meeting a demand for a higher standard of accommodation, both in terms of quality and the facilities.

In particular, the Broad Lane project “is likely to appeal to overseas and mature students”, says associate director Rosie Young in a submission to the council.

She adds: “There is a higher proportion of mature students studying in the university buildings directly adjacent to the property than in other parts of the city.”

As well as the proposed development being next to the University of Sheffield’s north campus, it is less than a mile from Sheffield Hallam University.

Council permission was given last May for a complex that combined accommodation with teaching facilities.

It also involved a second phase of converting the former St Luke’s School, off Garden Street, into offices and this is part of the updated application to the council.

Watkin Jones is working with DLP Planning, which is based in Paradise Square.