The 2,000 bedspaces are due for delivery across 2027 and 2028. Credit: Newcastle University/Norr

Demolition approved at Castle Leazes

With sign-off from the city council, Unite Students and Newcastle University can now proceed with knocking down existing accommodation to trigger a £250m, 2,000-bedspace project.

Architect Norr, planner Pegasus Group, E3 Ecology and Solmek are on the professional team, while Arup leads on the demolition and environmental management plan.

Newcastle City Council rubber-stamped the demolition process in a decision dated 18 June 2024, around five weeks after the application’s submission.

Following the publication of a site notice, only one objection to the proposals was received.

Officers said: “The demolition and environmental management plan and dust management plan provide an acceptable approach to manage the demolition process so as to minimise the impact on residential amenity and the surrounding highway network.”

In the education sector, timing is everything, and the partnership, which announced the venture in February, had always planned to begin demolition as soon as the academic year is over.

The goal is for the main construction phase to begin in early 2025, with delivery inked in for 2027 and 2028. Built in 1969, Castle Leazes currently provides around 1,250 beds.

Unite Students will act as development and asset manager to the JV, with 51% of the shares. The firm will provide £128m of the £250m total development cost.

To support the university’s accommodation requirements during the development phase, Unite has separately entered into a four-year nomination agreement for 1,600 beds in other Unite Students properties in the city.

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