There are many housing projects underway in Coventry and surrounding areas specifically for new student accommodation blocks. Alongside 11 accommodation blocks in the city centre, several sites are being built either just outside the city centre or near the Warwick University campus, the Coventry Telegraph reports.
A number of new projects are underway around campus. The Cryfield Student Village is currently being built for Christmas 2020 as part of the initiative to develop more on-campus accommodation. Redfern is being demolished for 12 new blocks totalling 828 bedrooms and costing £57million with the aim of creating a village within campus.
An abandoned office on Westwood Way will be converted into a 378 bedroom accommodation complex for the 2020/2021 academic year. The site is close to the university, being next to the WMG Academy for Young Engineers and “a short walk and cycle from the University of Warwick”.
Canley will have also several new student accommodations. The owners of Cannon Park Shopping Centre have proposed building an 850-bedroom apartment complex in part of its car park which they hope will be built by the summer of 2021.
Plans for a £22 million ‘UniVillage’ have also been approved on the former site of the Canley Sports and Social Club. It would be a 450 bedroom village specifically housing University of Warwick students.
In Coventry, one such development consists of 59 student flats that are right next to popular nightclub Kasbah. The Coventry City Council have approved a part demolition and part redevelopment to the derelict pub on Primrose Hill Street, which has been abandoned for seven years.
Another former pub that will make way for student housing is the site of the famous Fletch Pub. Once a popular local pub and gig venue with a classic art deco design, the pub was shut down and taken over by a car dealership and will be demolished for a 210-bedroom student block.
Whilst this may be good for students, student accommodation has become a contentious issue for local communities, with locals’ opinion being split as to whether these projects are beneficial or not for their communities.
For example, the £22 million ‘UniVillage’ drew protests and a petition from local residents alongside lobbying from the Canley Council who wanted more housing for new residents to encourage the growth of Canley. And building housing on the site of the Fletch Pub received lots of criticism from local residents, raising a petition which got over 300 signatures.
Comments from the Coventry Telegraph raised similar concerns, asking “isn’t it about time the people of the city got council housing?” However, others are more positive about developments. One comment mentioned that “it’s great that these derelict sites are being used” and that “it encourages students to come … and bring money they spend”.