MULTI-MILLION pound plans have been announced for a 395-bed student village on an industrial site.
County Properties (Northern) Group want to build a “student residence eco village” on the Berendsen’s laundry site, off the A167 in Neville’s Cross, Durham City.
The firm plans to move to a bigger site on an industrial estate in Meadowfield, potentially creating more jobs.
Meanwhile, the student digs plans will go on display at the Berendsen site tomorrow (Friday, August 29) from 4pm to 8pm.
Jonathan Sutton, of Lewis Sutton Property Consultants, said his clients were keen to engage with local residents and take their views on board.
However, there is already anger over the spread of student accommodation, with plans for more than 2,000 extra beds having been announced or approved in recent months.
Critics say more areas of Durham are being turned into student ghettos and the extra accommodation is not needed, with many beds still available for the approaching academic year.
Mr Sutton said the Berendsen development would be built to the highest environmental standards and highly sustainable – capable of being used as permanent residential accommodation should this be needed in future.
There would be townhouses, flats and studios, plus a student hub, green areas and storage for bicycles and the campus-style development would be primarily aimed at postgraduate students.
Most of the accommodation would be four storeys in height.
It would probably be privately run, rather than part of a Durham University college, but Mr Sutton said it would be managed by a highly experienced student housing operator that had been involved in its design.
“The developers are very keen to engage with local residents.
“We’ve seen all the shenanigans with Flass Vale and Alumno Developments (the firm behind the £20m scheme to build nearly 400 student digs at nearby Sheraton Park).
“We need to engage with the local population properly and demonstrate if the laundry’s going to be moving what’s going in its place will be nicer than what’s there at the moment,” he said.
County Properties hopes to submit a planning application to Durham County Council shortly and have the accommodation ready for September 2016.
Berendsen did not respond to The Northern Echo’s request for comment.