£7 MILLION INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CENTRE PLANNED
New plans at North Hill
New mixed used development near Drake’s Reservoir
Present (RAOB) Club on North Hill
By Kevin Kelway, Dorcas Media
PLANS by Pillar Land Securities to build an international post-graduate accommodation centre together with proposals for a new (RAOB) Club, Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, and new cafe area – opposite Drake’s Place and Reservoir – went out to public consultation earlier this week.
Over 60 people attended the public event held at the (RAOB) Club & Institute and offered local residents’ the chance to still shape the mixed-used scheme, and meet key stakeholders, architects, and the team at Pillar Land Securities. We wanted to hear what the public had to say about this exciting development in North Hill, said Richard Pillar.
Mr Pillar, said: “Proposals include redeveloping the (RAOB) Club that will provide modern and up to date facilities for its local members and their families using this popular club, with plans for a cafe, and 71 units for international student accommodation.”
“My company decided that following our presentation to the design review panel and having revised the scheme taking on board their advise that we would engage in a thorough pre-consultation process with neighbouring properties. Whilst this pre-consultation period may have lost us a year, it helped to inform the design and mitigate its impact. Managing the aspirations of the ROAB members, planning officers and their consulates alongside residents’ has been demanding, but a worthwhile exercise.”
“The University of Plymouth is one of our biggest employers and our development on North Hill will create high quality accommodation for well-off post graduate students from overseas looking to study in the city. Both Plymouth City Council and the University of Plymouth are keen to attract international investment and increase student numbers wanting to study in the city.”
“The University is looking to expand their International student intake from 4% to 15% by 2020. Foreign students are more selective about their accommodation needs and the current standard of lettings available within the city does not meet their needs. The new build will attract international students to Plymouth and will drive growth and investment within the city as there spend per head is far higher than domestic students,” said Mr Pillar.
Rich Smith, managing director of Hand Drawn Home Limited, the architects and illustrators for the North Hill development, said: “Pillar Land Securities are a pro-active developer who have spent a year consulting with local residents’ and key stakeholders to ensure that the plans reflect the various critiques. We have reached a stage whereby the vast majority of people are now happy with the plans.”
“The buildings scale and density have been reduced with accommodation pushed into the ground. The building will be sensitive to it’s setting, paying close attention to the historical links to the reservoir and providing a net gain in ecology and biodiversity with green roofs and living walls on the building façade.”
“Noise, light pollution and over shadowing impacts on neighbouring houses have been thoroughly considered. One-to-one meetings with local residents’ have resulted in a scheme which chimes with the developers desire for a proposal that has neighbourliness at the heart of this legacy project,” said Mr Smith.
Mr Pillar, added: “The North Hill development will help the University of Plymouth in maintaining a regional advantage over our competitors in this highly competitive sector – by attracting financially independent students from across the globe. This new high-end development will also boost the local economy.
“It will also support the students by helping them make the transition to independent living by removing some of the pressures on the local population by one of the city’s most transient communities,” said Mr Pillar.
Mr Richard Pillar (right) discussing the plans with members of the public
* It is expected that areas immediately around the accommodation building, campus and city centre will benefit the most from this major investment.
* An onsite concierge service will be available to the students to assist them with settling into life within the South West. The concierge will act as a point of contact for the students, assisting them with social needs and managing the building, care taking, maintenance and deliveries. The concierge will be a direct point of contact for neighbours and the public.
* The redevelopment of the site will financially benefit Plymouth by way of a £163,000 Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) tariff and a £60,000 Section 106 contribution linked to transport and green spaces initiatives.