A DEVELOPER has decided to think again after the name of its new student accommodation scheme proved controversial with residents.
Universal Student Living planned to call its new block of purpose-built student accommodation in Durham “The Clink” - an historical reference to the time when the area was used as Durham County Penitentiary.
The development is on the site of Kepier House, off Gilesgate, used in the 19th Century as a home for “fallen women,” an institution which was entered voluntarily but had prison-like features.
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But following complaints by residents living near the development, who said the name was insensitive, the developer has had a rethink and decided to call it Kepier Court.
A spokesman for Universal Student Living said the complaints were taken seriously and added: “We are disappointed that the name has, in our opinion, been taken out of context, however despite this and in acknowledgement of the concerns raised, we are proposing that the name of the scheme is retained as Kepier Court.
“The Clink Student Accommodation will be retained in the short term as a marketing brand name only as significant resources have been invested in this, but we intend to gradually phase this out once the building is completed and occupied”.
“We are hoping that this will address the concerns raised by the local residents, and I will be liaising with them accordingly.”
Cllr David Freeman said: “I am very pleased that Universal Student Living have decided to call their new purpose-built student accommodation development Kepier Court rather than The Clink. “The name ‘The Clink’ was a very poor name for a new development and hardly gave a good impression of the new buildings or the wider area.
“Local residents and I had made complaints to Universal Student Living so perhaps our pressure caused this sensible rethink.”
The PBSA is currently under construction and is due to be completed in time for the start of the new academic year in October.
The area was formerly used by Durham University’s Ustinov College but has been empty since 2005.
There has been more than £18m invested in the site to regenerate the derelict site and turn it into high quality student accommodation with 200 beds.