Bournemouth: Appeal gives go-ahead for student accommodation blocks

New purpose-built accommodation for 625 students in Bournemouth Town Centre has been approved following an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

National consultancy Pegasus Group, on behalf of Summix Capital and Sheet Anchor Evolve, secured planning permission for the erection of a mixed-use development at Richmond Gardens, Bournemouth.

The development approved includes three purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) blocks ranging in height between 8-15 stories, alongside a flexible retail/coffee shop unit, cycle parking, landscaping and public realm improvements.

Despite receiving Officer’s recommendation for approval, the planning application was refused by Bournemouth Borough Council’s planning committee in March 2019. The appeal hearing focused on student concentration, design and massing, the impact on the conservation area, loss of mature trees and car parking provision.

In her report, the Planning Inspector said the development would deliver a range of benefits including the provision of purpose-built student accommodation to meet an identified demand; potential release of houses of multiple occupation onto the open market; townscape and public realm improvements of screening the car park; and improvements in safety, natural surveillance and increased footfall.

Henry Courtier, from Pegasus Group’s London office, said: “Extensive consultation with Bournemouth Borough Council took place prior to the submission and during the course of the planning application process. While it was disappointing that the application was initially refused, we are delighted with the Planning Inspector’s decision and now look forward to seeing the provision of much needed student accommodation in this highly accessible and sustainable location.”

The PBSA will incorporate a mix of en suite cluster flats, with shared kitchens, and studio suites. Communal student common rooms, for private study or relaxation, are provided within the scheme as well as a podium courtyard.

Pegasus Group is a national consultancy with 14 offices across UK and Ireland offering extensive experience across all sectors of the development industry. In this project, Pegasus Group assisted with services including planning, landscape design, heritage, townscape and economics.