Huge student flats and ‘co-living’ development proposed for former Heavitree Road police station in Exeter

A former police station in Heavitree Road, Exeter, will become a 1,000-bed student flats and co-living development if plans get the go-ahead.

Proposals for a seven-storey accommodation block with 689 rooms and another eight-storey building boasting small, private living spaces combined with communal facilities.

There would be no on-site parking, though four disabled bays are planned along with a drop-off lay-by for three vehicles.

It is also envisaged that 623 cycle spaces would be provided, writes Local Democracy Reporter Ollie Heptinstall.

The proposals…will see the demolition of an unattractive and deteriorating building at a prominent site [and]will bring back into beneficial use a site which has stood vacant for several years…

An artist's impression of the proposed development in Heavitree Road, Exeter. Image from the planning application

Artist’s impressions of the proposed development in Heavitree Road, Exeter. Images from the planning application

An artist's impression of the proposed development in Heavitree Road, Exeter. Image from the planning applicationThe proposed location, also the former home of Exeter’s Magistrates’ Court, is opposite the University of Exeter’s St Luke’s Campus.

And the plot also sits next to 134 co-living studios currently being built opposite Waitrose.

The application by DPP Planning states: “The purpose-built student accommodation element will meet the identified need for further developments to serve the growing needs of the student population and to enable the transition of [houses of multiple occupation]back to family housing.

“The proposals…will see the demolition of an unattractive and deteriorating building at a prominent site [and]will bring back into beneficial use a site which has stood vacant for several years, creating a sustainable residential ‘quarter’ which is well-located for Exeter university, but also employment, leisure and services.”

The co-living element of the scheme is made up of 340 units with shared amenities aimed at ‘university graduates, young professionals and key workers who typically will not be able to afford to purchase their own property’.

Plans add: “The proposed co-living element of the development ensures that graduates of the University of Exeter remain in the area to work and live.

“With an increase in student numbers, it is clear that there is going to be increased graduate numbers alongside other key workers requiring flexible accommodation space.”

Exeter City Council will decide the fate of the proposals.

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