Thousands of new student flats have been built in Nottingham in the last few years, with thousands more on the way.
They will accommodate some of the city’s 65,000 students who head to the two universities every year.
It’s part of a general trend away from the traditional shared accommodation in Victorian-style houses in places such as Lenton, and into purpose-built student flats, often towards the city centre.
The city council, which is responsible for planning permission, said despite the belief that there are too many student flats in the city, there is still huge demand.
The Labour-run council says there is a vacancy rate of just 105 bedspaces last year, despite a further 1,000 new bedspaces becoming available for the academic year 2017-18.
It also says building purpose-built flats frees up housing in other parts of the city, which is more suitable for families.
Councillor Jane Urquhart is the portfolio holder for planning and housing, and represents the Sherwood ward for Labour.
She said: “We know there’s a perception that there’s too much student accommodation and more can’t possibly be needed. But actually, we can see we are only just keeping pace with demand. Vacancy rates in new student flats have remained consistently below two percent for the past four years, with no signs of that changing as student numbers continue to rise.
“Our position has been to encourage purpose-built student accommodation in the city centre where other residents might not choose to live but students want to be. We can see that this is reducing the concentration of students in some parts of the city and frees up housing that’s arguably better suited for families and other residents.”
We’ve had a look at where the newest – and biggest – developments which are being, or will be built in the coming years. Some are under construction already, while others are in the pipeline.
Waterway Street West – 462 flats
This would have been one of the tallest buildings in the city, and may yet be.
Initially there were plans for a rooftop terrace which would have overlooked the whole city, on a level with the Jury’s Inn hotel in terms of height.
Underneath the 12th storey rooftop bar would have been 462 student flats.
Within walking distance of the train station and city centre, and above a newly-planned small supermarket, this would have been one of the biggest developments in the city for years.
However the designs were sent back to the drawing board by the city council’s planning committee in July.
A modified, and slightly scaled-down design is expected to come back before the committee in the coming months.
Crocus Street – 420 flats
This £50 million scheme will create 420 student beds and 177 residential apartments.
Plans released in February show two ‘U’ shaped blocks ranging from four to eight storeys in what the developers described as “distinctly designed buildings”.
Within walking distance of the city centre, this scheme is part of a wider project to transform the southern part of the city, including the new college building and Broadmarsh Bus Station.
Old Saab Garage, Talbot Street – 353 flats
Former school buildings and a car showroom will be demolished to make way for this new student block.
The new building will stand taller than the Talbot House and Talbot Point developments which are also on the street. There will be 64 flats with four or more bedrooms, and four studio apartments.
The block will also have communal facilities and a landscaped central courtyard.
Station Street – 323 flats
This new development which was approved two months ago will be built where the old job centre was, next to the tram bridge, and opposite Nottingham Train Station.
As well as flats, the new development will include a gym, reception area and coffee shop. Former railway arches would be redeveloped to incorporate street traders.
The Ministry of Justice raised concern about this development, because it will overlook Nottingham Crown Court, where the most-serious court cases are heard.
The MoJ asked that the developer work with them and the police to ensure that no court case will be jeopardised as a result of the new building.
Huntingdon Street – 301 flats
Built on the site of a furniture store heading out of the city, the highest rooms will have views over the city centre.
These were granted permission in July, and work is yet to get underway.
The Laceworks, near the train station – 222 apartments
Work is well underway on plans for an £11.5 million apartment block opposite the train station.
The steel infrastructure is mainly now in place, as building work continues apace.
Plans were initially approved in January this year.
It will feature a 24-hour hotel-style reception, cycle storage, parcel delivery room, launderette, study areas, games zones, social spaces and a private dining room.
Former Junktion 7 site, Canning Circus – 103 flats
Nearing completion, this nine storey development towers high above all neighbouring buildings.
When finished, the new student block will have social and study areas, cycle storage and a small shop underneath.
The majority of work is finished, but construction is ongoing on the ground floor.
Glasshouse Street – 92 flats
Built on the site of empty shops in Glasshouse Street, several buildings will be demolished to make way for this six-storey unit.
The developer said the buildings were in ‘desperate need’ of renovation.
Planning permission has been granted, but work is yet to get underway.
Castle Wharf – 66 flats
A very narrow strip of scrubland next to the canal will see 66 new apartments built.
Next to the so-called ‘cycle superhighway’ the new development will be car free.
Brackenhurst Campus – 191 flats
Outside of the city in Southwell, this £12.5m project is due to be completed for the 2019/20 academic year.
It’s at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst campus, which is home to the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.
As well as the bedrooms there will be two warden flats and a communal recreation room for students.
As part of the project, special wildlife crossing points will be fitted under new gravel pathways as the campus is home to wildlife including a large great crested newt population.