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Nottingham Royal Mail site set for PBSA conversion

Eloise Hanson Uploaded 19 August 2021: UK: Godwin Developments' plans to convert the former Royal Mail sorting office in Nottingham into a 692-bed student block has been given the green light, subject to clarification of further design details.

The scheme will see the property, which has been vacant for almost 20 years, demolished and redeveloped with purpose built student accommodation. It will comprise a mix of studio apartments, four, five and six bedroom clusters, and accessible studio rooms.

Two receptions, a residents lounge, study areas and games rooms, as well as a gym and garden with outdoor exercise equipment, are also included in the proposal. 

Architects RG+P, planning consultants P&DG, and engineering business HSP Consulting have been involved with the scheme so far. Various sustainable features such as air source heat pumps, photovoltaic (PV) roof panels and an energy efficient building fabric have been incorporated.

Matt Chandler, development director at Godwin Developments, said: “We are delighted to have received the resolution to grant planning approval from Nottingham City Council for our proposals, which will transform this eye-sore of a building into a thriving student hub.

“With unmet demand of over 7,000 student beds in the city and the number of undergraduates rising as both universities continue their expansion plans, there is a clear requirement for more dedicated student spaces where young people can live, study, and socialise together. Our plans will not only cater to this demand but also support the Council’s ambitions to keep the city centre vibrant, house students better, and protect further traditional family housing from being converted for student occupation.”

Chandler expects the Bendigo Building - the name of the project - to attract £234 million of economic activity to the city in the form of construction, employment and discretional spend. Once underway, the project will create around 300 jobs and 40 full-time positions when fully operational.

James Mulcare, head of residential capital markets at Godwin Developments, said: “In recent years, Nottingham has cemented itself into a major higher education destination. The city attracts nearly 80 per cent of its full-time students from the UK, making it resilient to fluctuations in international student demand.

“As vaccination rates across the country continue to rise and young people seek to return to face-to-face learning and socialising, the need for purpose-built student accommodation will continue to grow – and with it a strong interest from investors across the globe. We are confident that the Bendigo Building with its prominent location and high amenities provision will be popular with young people and will deliver attractive long-term returns to investors seeking to capitalise on the strong local PBSA market.”

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