23rd May, 2019

New student flats plan for ex-Coventry hospital's listed Victorian buildings

Felix Nobes 1st Mar, 2019

ALTERED plans to convert the Victorian listed buildings of a former Coventry hospital into a block of 344 student flats are set to be considered by planners.

The resurrected scheme on Stoney Stanton Road which gained initial planning approval in 2017 outlines the conversion of the Grade II listed nurses’ accommodation and outpatients’ clinic buildings.

It also proposes building a five-storey block and a further single floor building intended to be used as a cafe.

Now developers Kier Property Developments has submitted an application to alter the scheme and include three student accommodation townhouses in place of a previously proposed cafe.

It is hoped the new proposals will accelerate progress on the already permitted scheme which, the developer says, has been behind due to the dilapidated nature of the buildings which have fallen into disrepair.

The 322 units originally proposed are broken down to 176 beds in the former nurses’ accommodation building, 40 within the former outpatients’ clinic, 106 within the new central building.

The new proposal includes alterations which will free up room for four more bed spaces in one of the buildings.

Kier Property Developments says it is committed to mitigating the risk of ‘further damage’ to the buildings in the alterations and want the complex open for the 2020/21 academic year.

The planning applications states: “The extant proposals represent a high quality scheme that can contribute to meeting demand for student accommodation development in Coventry.

“However, there are inherent complexities in the scheme associated with conversion of listed buildings, alongside inefficiencies in the layout, and inclusion of the café for which there is no clear demand (or benefit to residents).

“These considerations have deterred investment and delivery of the development to date.

“There are greater merits associated with the townhouses whereby additional students and their corresponding levels of available expenditure are introduced to the area in comparison with the previously approved café use.

“The extant consents were lacking of detail in terms of proposed materials for the works which the enclosed submissions have sought to remedy.

“Works will also be undertaken to remedy significant issues with dry rot in the buildings, and the necessity to remove asbestos in order to make the structures habitable.

“The specified materials seek to strike a balance between maintaining the historic significance of the listed buildings and being able to deliver the necessary works in a viable manner.”

The NHS has demanded a small payment of nearly £30,000 to mitigate the added pressure applied to already stretched healthcare services.

The hospital was first constructed in 1860 with some associated buildings damaged by bombing during the Coventry Blitz in 1941.

It closed in 2006 after the opening of Walsgrave Hospital, now University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).

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