Urban regeneration specialist Vita Group is bringing forward exciting new plans for the former Barker & Stonehouse building along with the neighbouring Strawberry House building on Leazes Park Road in Newcastle.
As part of the proposal, Vita Group intends to save the old Strawberry House building, incorporating it into the designs for redevelopment, sympathetically maintaining the site’s heritage despite the building not being designated.
The proposed development includes the demolition of the Barker & Stonehouse building and the erection of a new purpose-built student accommodation building. Over the last decade, demand for Newcastle’s student accommodation has grown by circa 25% with over 52,000 students studying in the city each year and significant growth from international students of 55% since 2016/17 academic year. As a result, Newcastle has an undersupply of 16,000 student beds, increasing demand on the city’s wider housing market.
Designed for Vita Group’s best-in-class student accommodation brand Vita Student, the plans are to create 250 high-quality studio apartments supported by social and study space, a state-of-the-art gym, paired with Vita Student’s outstanding customer experience which has been designed to help students maximise their university experience and ‘Begin Big’ it includes an on-site operations team delivering daily events, housekeeping, security and much, much more. The building will create better public realm and will be created using sustainable modern methods of construction.
Vita Student currently has two successful residences in the city, Vita Student Westgate and Strawberry Place.
Vita Group will be hosting a consultation event to talk through its plans for the exciting new development on 11 October, 4-7pm at Vita Student Strawberry Place and would like to invite local residents and interested parties to share their ideas for the redevelopment.
A consultation page has also been created with information about the redevelopment, with detailed plans posted on 11 October following the event for people to browse at their own leisure and provide feedback through the online feedback form.
Max Bielby, Vita Group Chief Operating Officer said: “We’re delighted to share our ideas for the former Barker & Stonehouse building and look forward to meeting local residents and the wider city to talk through our proposal. Newcastle has a fantastic reputation as a great place to study, this reputation continues to draw more students’ year-on-year, creating greater demand on the city’s infrastructure, the redevelopment of this scheme could help to alleviate some of those pressures whilst adding to the city, creating a new thriving community.”