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Work accelerates on plan to build 472 student flats behind Victoria Centre

The 472-bed complex will peak at 10 storeys and will be built next to the Grade II listed Rose of England pub.

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Construction work is continuing on one of the largest purpose-built student blocks in the city centre.

The 472-bed complex will peak at 10 storeys and will be built next to the Grade II listed Rose of England pub.

It is being constructed on the site of the former York Place building, which has now been demolished.

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The land was sold by retail company Intu, which owns the nearby Victoria Centre.

Work on the £45 million project began late last year, with heavy machinery preparing the ground for construction to go up.

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Now, the steel structure and crane are clearly visible from several parts of the city.

However, Hilary Silvester, executive chairwoman of the Nottingham Civic Society, said there was a risk the building could overshadow the Rose of England pub, which was designed by acclaimed Nottingham architect Watson Fothergill.

She said: “I think it will not be good for the views of the pub, and it’s a shame because it’s listed.

“I know it’s got the Victoria Centre looming up behind it, but I think something crowding into it is unfortunate.

“It sounds as if it is going to overpower the pub, and we wouldn’t want that happening because it is a very distinctive building, and of course an example by Watson Fothgergill who is one of our most famous, or some would say notorious, architects. Very quirky, and this is quite typical of his work, so we wouldn’t want anything to take away from that and I think 10 storeys is too high.”

Original plans had been to build 422 student flats, however designers went back to the drawing board and added a further 50 flats.

Cassidy Group, the developers behind the project, hope it could be completed in time for the new academic year in August 2021.

However, with universities facing pressures over the coronavirus, it remains to be seen whether demand for student accommodation will be as high as in previous years.

For several years in a row, demand has come close to outstripping supply in terms of student accommodation.

With two world-class universities, and with the city close to capacity for so many consecutive years, there has been a rush to construct purpose-built student accommodation, such as the York Place development.

Developers said planning the York Place building was made more complex by the caves underneath, but that it had been designed in such a way as to protect them.

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