City of London backs 644-bed student-housing scheme | News

Developer Dominvs Group has won planning permission for a 14-storey student-housing development in the City of London that is designed to meet the expanding needs of the London School of Economics.

The proposals, drawn up by architect Stiff & Trevillion, replaces an earlier Dominvs scheme for a green-wall hotel and office development that was touted as “London’s greenest building”.

Stiff & Trevillion's proposals for student accommodation at Holborn Viaduct, drawn up for Dominvs Group

The housing proposals, approved yesterday by the City’s planning and transportation committee, will deliver 644 student beds, flexible cultural and community space at its ground and lower ground floor levels, and a publicly-accessible rooftop terrace.

Planning and transportation committee chair Alistair Moss said the scheme was a “positive step” in the Square Mile’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The addition of new student accommodation will mark another step toward the creation of a thriving 24/7 City and we look forward to welcoming students to this area, who we hope will be the business leaders and innovators of the future,” he said.

“We are thrilled at the ongoing confidence shown by world-class universities, developers and investors as we continue to strive to make the City of London ever-more sustainable and inclusive.”

Dominvs received planning permission for its green-hotel plans in 2020, but the firm subsequently said the pandemic had forced a re-evaluation of scheme and the LSE “emerged with a long-term requirement for purpose built student accommodation”.

It said LSE was looking to increase student bed count from 4,500 to 6,000 over the next five years.

Dominvs director Jay Ahluwalia said the new student housing was of “exemplary design quality” and would be “highly sustainable”, targeting a BREEAM “excellent” rating.

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