Planning for Alumno student accommodation scheme

Photo: Planning for Alumno student accommodation scheme

Alumno Developments has gained planning permission from Warwick District Council for its £15 million student accommodation scheme Grand Union Students, Althorpe Street, Leamington Spa.

Working with Glenn Howells Architects, Alumno will bring life back to the waterfront of the Grand Union Canal in the heart of the Leamington Spa old town, opening up the area for the public to enjoy as well as providing much needed new, well-managed, bespoke student residences.

A former BT storage facility will be redeveloped into two four storey buildings with 187 student bedrooms, while the ground floors will be communal areas looking out on to the canal.  The landscaping will welcome people through the development to access the canal side and tow path.

David Campbell, managing director, Alumno Developments said:  “I am very pleased we have gained planning permission for Grand Union Students.  With all our developments, it is very important to us to bring along the local community and, we hope, improve local facilities as well as providing high quality homes for students.

“We carried out extensive research which demonstrated that the need for student housing within Leamington Spa is growing year by year.  Just under 5,000 Warwick University students currently live in the town.  Not only will Grand Union Students improve the unmaintained canal side area, it will also bring significant economic benefits to the town and provide an alternative form of accommodation to students that might otherwise chose existing properties in residential areas as the University grows.”

Alan McCartney, Associate, Glenn Howells Architects said:  “At Grand Union Students, Leamington Spa we have designed the new buildings and landscaping to complement the existing historic surroundings while opening up the canal side for use by all.  Gaining planning permission is an important step in helping to revitalise this important area.”

Isaac Leigh, president, Warwick SU, University of Warwick said: “We are delighted with the decision and believe the new scheme is good for the local community and for students.  Many students prefer this type of purpose-built accommodation, and the new scheme should take some of the pressure off the local traditional housing stock. This is a very sensible, strategic decision.”

The scheme will be managed by a leading student housing management provider and will have a full time staff presence who will be implementing a robust management regime so that local residents always have a point of contact.  Work is expected to start on site later this year.

Alumno Developments, established in 2006, partner with universities, colleges and other stakeholders to provide high quality living space for over 4,000 students across the UK including London, Birmingham, Norwich, Glasgow and St Andrews.

Alumno deliver distinct and sensitive designs, carefully engaging local residents to integrate their developments for the benefit of the existing community.

The news was covered by the Leamington Observer and Architects Journal