Published on Friday, 6th October 2016


There has been another application for a new high rise student tower. This time it’s for a 19-storey block for the corner of Commercial Road and Stanhope Street that would replace the Co-operative bank building diagonally opposite the station. There would be a new retail unit on the ground floor.

The 256 rooms this building would contain would lessen the demand for shared student houses by perhaps 60 or 70. Having more potential customers nearby will also help shore up the Commercial Road retail area, which is important given that any new shopping centre for the Tricorn site is at least five years from opening.

There is a myth out there that were it not for these student towers somehow a lot of new council housing would be being built instead. That’s obviously untrue – all these schemes are in the private sector and the council simply cannot afford to build social housing beyond that already planned.

The alternative to these student schemes is empty sites and no development at all. That would mean fewer construction jobs and more students living in residential areas. From the council’s perspective, this development also means a little more money in the pot from the infrastructure tax to fund flood defences and school places. It’s in the city’s interest that this scheme goes ahead.

If you want to comment, the planning reference number is 16/01537/FUL.