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Plans for 400 student beds on former college site
ONE Edwardian architectural landmark would be saved but another demolished under plans to build accommodation for 400 university students.
Sheraton House and Neville House have fallen into disrepair since New College Durham, of which they were part, left Neville’s Cross for purpose-built facilities in Framwellgate Moor several years ago.
New townhouses have been built on the site, known as Sheraton Park, but now Alumno Developments wants to do more – creating rooms for 400 students.
Neville House, which contained classrooms and offices, would be saved and converted into student accommodation but Sheraton House, formerly the college library, would be demolished.
The firm will put its plans on public display on Monday.
Some residents are unhappy the buildings have been allowed to decay for so long and want them both restored and brought back into use.
A development brief for the site from 2000 says both should be retained.
Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods has been in touch with Sheraton Park Residents’ Association and plans to hold a public meeting to discuss the proposals in September.
“It is obviously important that we reach a solution for the site that the residents of Sheraton Park are happy with.
“I hope that in the meantime the developers will keep all options open,” the MP said.
David Campbell, Alumno’s managing director, said the development would address a need identified by Durham University for “bespoke student accommodation” and the aim was to work sensitively, creating an enhanced landscape-led development within an attractive environment for all the community to benefit from.
“We pride ourselves in being a good neighbour working constructively with residents.
“We realise that this is a unique site in a residential area and that by talking to people and parties with an interest in this scheme and answering their concerns, it gives us the best possible opportunity to act upon matters raised.”
The accommodation would be managed by Derwent Facilities Management. No cars would be allowed on site. A first consultation event was held in July.
Monday’s follow-up will be at Nelson Hall, Neville’s Cross, from 3pm to 7pm.
Alumno hopes to submit a planning application in September, start work on site early next year and have the accommodation ready for September 2015.
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