Planning approval granted for student accommodation in Glasgow city centre

PROPOSALS for new student accommodation in the heart of Glasgow have been given the go-ahead by Glasgow City Council.

Developer Artisan Real Estate, together with Homes for Students, the UK’s largest independent student management company, will take forward proposals for 321 self-contained studio apartments.

The properties would be situated at 292-298 St Vincent Street, and would be aimed primarily at the post-graduate and overseas student market.

The plans include demolition of the existing office block, which has remained vacant since 2019 and replacing it with the new student development.

CGI of Proposed Student Accommodation at 292 St Vincent Street Glasgow
Artisan hopes the planned development will provide a welcome boost for Glasgow city centre

The planning consent follows an extensive consultation exercise with the neighbouring community, which has largely supported the proposals.

Local feedback recognised a need for student accommodation in the city centre, with many agreeing the proposals would help address the current shortfall in student accommodation in Glasgow.

Similarly, development plans were also welcomed by the local business community – including restaurants, cafes and bars.

These businesses are all currently suffering from the decline of office workers returning to the city centre following the pandemic.

Welcoming the planning consent, Artisan’s Scottish Regional Director David Westwater said: “The site is in a superb city centre location, within easy walking or cycling distance to a number of higher and further education establishments within the city.

“There is a demonstrable need for high-quality purpose-built student accommodation in the city, especially for individual studio apartments.

“The more longer-term student market we are targeting will bring energy and investment to the city centre and ensure deliverability of a superbly designed development to replace the existing office block which has remained vacant for four years.”

The new student development proposals are set to complement the Glasgow City Council-backed ‘Golden Z’ plan to re-energise the central commercial district, criss-crossed by Sauchiehall, Buchanan and Argyle streets.

This includes plans for less retail and more restaurant and culture operators, with other suggestions including using empty upper floors of buildings for housing and shared workspaces.

David added: “We have engaged with the local business community, which is suffering with the decline of office workers following the pandemic.

“They widely welcomed the prospect of renewed investment and energy that the development will bring to the area.

“We will actively work with our neighbours to make the development an active and integral part of the local area, providing opportunities for our neighbours to share communal meeting spaces.”

Homes for Students is the largest independent student management company in the UK with 40,000 beds nationwide and a strong regional presence across Scotland.

Martin Corbett, Chief Executive Officer of Homes for Students, said: “We are proud to have worked closely with Artisan Real Estate to ensure this is a best-in-class purpose-built scheme.

“We will ensure we provide our residents with an exceptional student experience and encourage them to integrate and support the needs of the local community.

“Our own highly experienced team…will foster and support their wellbeing,” Martin added.

Artisan first secured planning permission for the 292-298 St Vincent Street site in 2020 with plans for a 255-room, 4-star hotel.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hospitality sector, alternative uses were explored resulting in a revised planning application for 250 serviced residential apartments.

The company subsequently secured planning approval for this ‘co-living’ residential development from Glasgow City Council in early 2023, which is now superseded by the student development consent.

The award-winning developer recently completed an £80m transformation of the city’s A-Listed Custom House and neighbouring buildings into a hotel quarter overlooking the River Clyde.