Plans to create student accommodation in Burnley have been given the green light.
Last night, Burnley Council’s development control committee granted planning permission for the £9m, 136-bed building on land next to Sandygate Square.
The scheme will be developed in a partnership between the council, the University of Central Lancashire and Barnfield Investment Properties.
The purpose-built student accommodation, which will also include common rooms, laundry room, and a study/resources room and car parking as well as three retail/café units, is part of wider ambitious plans to turn Burnley into a university town.
UCLan plans to expand its student numbers in Burnley from 400 to 4,000 during the next six years.
It forms another important milestone in the transformation of the historic canalside On The Banks development that the council has been delivering as a joint venture with Barnfield Investment Properties.
Coun. Mark Townsend, leader of the council, said: “This is excellent news and another important step forward in plans to make Burnley a leading university town, attracting students from across the world. It’s a key component in UCLan’s plans for its long-term growth and the creation of a significant presence in Burnley.”
Coun. Asif Raja, the council's executive member for economy and growth, said: "UCLan’s expansion plans will have a massive positive impact on the local economy, attracting new investment and boosting local businesses. The influx of students to our borough will bring a wide range of benefits."
Dr Ebrahim Adia, Provost at UCLan Burnley, said: “This is an exciting milestone in our plans to deliver an outstanding university experience in Burnley. High quality student accommodation is central to the growth of student numbers in the town, enabling UCLan to recruit nationally and internationally.
“By working alongside our partners at Burnley Council we aim to attract a new generation of students to the town, providing the skills supply needed to maximise Burnley and East Lancashire’s economic development.”
UCLan has already made a significant investment in Victoria Mill, which is just across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from the accommodation site, and teaching resources in Burnley to deliver its growth.
Tim Webber MBE, chairman and managing director of Barnfield Construction, said: “We’re delighted to be delivering the next phase of the iconic On The Banks development in partnership with Burnley Council and UCLan.
“The new project will make a perfect addition to the established and popular development and provides student accommodation to complement the facilities in Victoria Mill. The scheme also incorporates retail elements which we’re sure will be popular with the local businesses, students and residents.”
Building work is expected to start shortly with completion expected by autumn 2020 in time for that year’s student intake.