St Leonard’s Student Housing
Toronto, Canada
2d ago

NORR has worked closely with both Robertson Property and the local authority planners to deliver a scheme that meets the requirements of both of these stakeholders.

These being primarily to deliver a commercially viable scheme that will meet the needs of the local student population; and to conserve and preserve the historic building fabric of St Leonards Gate within a sympathetic conversion scheme to satisfy the requirements of the listed building status.

The resultant scheme has been approved by the local authority and will retain all the key features of the listing; NORR has also been able to agree a contemporary lightweight addition to the uppermost level of the building.

This feature will provide a high quality addition that can be clearly read as a modern addition to the fabric.

NORR has been working with Robertson Property over the course of 2016 to deliver a successful planning approval and listed building consent for the former Waring and Gillow’ furniture factory at St Leonards Gate, Lancaster.

The historic building had been constructed in 2 phases and consists of the original 5 storey stone building dating from 1880 and the later concrete framed 5 storey building dating from 1920.

Latterly, the building has been used by the local authority as office accommodation but was vacated in 2014 and subsequently disposed of to our client.

The completed design is due to start construction later in 2017 and when completed will make a high quality contribution to the student offer in Lancaster which to date has been fairly limited within the city centre.

Thus, it will go a long way to meeting the established needs of the local student population.

The approved scheme consists of 180 student beds which are split between 60 studio suites and 120 beds within cluster flats.

The semi basement has been utilised to provide communal accommodation for the students which includes student common rooms, a party kitchen, gymnasium a laundry and other back of house provision.

Key to achieving this was the inclusion of the new enlarged uppermost level with associated contemporary elevations. NORR worked closely with Hedley Planning Consultants to negotiate this provision and to produce a high quality design that enhances the host building architecturally but also, crucially got the development to total 180 student bedrooms and therefore meeting viability criteria.

Without this successful negotiation the development would be unlikely to take place.

The project should also serve as a major catalyst to further redevelopment along St Leonards Gate and the wider city centre indeed, other projects are already planned in the immediate vicinity.

The scheme is due to start on site at the end of 2017 for completion August 2018 and NORR is looking forwards to working with Robertson Property and Robertson Construction in this next phase of the project.

The redevelopment will also provide a sustainable future for a vacant and deteriorating listed building which has been an important part of Lancaster’s industrial history.

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