Permission sought for student digs

A CAR park in Ipswich is set to be transformed into student digs if developers are granted planning permission, it emerged today.

A CAR park in Ipswich is set to be transformed into student digs if developers are granted planning permission, it emerged today.

More accommodation for students of University Campus Suffolk (UCS) after permission was applied for by Star Lane Developments to turn the land at the junction of Star Lane and Lower Orwell Street into student halls.

The new flats would comprise two new four to six storey buildings to provide student accommodation and part commercial space including a pedestrian link through the site.

The application is pending consideration by planning bosses at this stage but is proposed for the redevelopment of Yandall's car repair and warehouse's site.

The proposal outlines arrangements for a new mixed-use development that will provide commercial units measuring 241.5 square metres on the ground floor and 118 student residential units on both the ground and upper floors.

The selling point for developers is that the site is located almost exactly halfway between the town centre and the education quarter, which includes Suffolk New College and UCS on Ipswich's waterfront, making it an ideal location for a student housing.

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The site is currently taken up by a garage and 18 parking spaces reserved for users of the adjacent buildings but, if planning permission is granted, the new building will boast 304 habitable rooms but a provision of only 18 car parking spaces.

Star Lane Developments also plan a 'green-link' connection between the waterfront and the town centre to set off continuation a proposed green space associated with the approved application for student halls on the nearby former Gym n Trim site.

Though a bid to build hundreds of student homes at Ipswich's Waterfront was denied earlier this month by town chiefs, permission was granted last year for 76 rooms on the site of the vacant Kwik-Fit garage on St Margaret's Green and an eight-storey block of flats off Duke Street for around 180 students.

Estimates suggest housing for around 2,750 students will be needed by 2015 as the town's university expands.

Does Ipswich need more student accommodation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.

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