Plans to create a major new student accommodation scheme offering 630 beds across eight blocks in the centre of Lancaster have been given the green light.

Lancaster City Council's planning committee has approved a full application by Hines UK to redevelop the Lawson's Quay site between Bulk Road and Caton Road to the north of the city centre.

The brownfield plot earmarked for redevelopment was formerly the location of a shoe factory run by K Shoes until the late 1980s.


The Stride Treglown-designed scheme features eight buildings, rising up to 11 storeys high, arranged around a series of linked external courtyard spaces. There would be 321 ensuite, 184 shared and 125 studio properties across the development.

Ahead of the committee meeting, a planning officer's report had recommended that the project should be approved.

It said: "This is a substantial development proposal which occupies a prominent gateway position, with the site having been vacant for a number of years.

"The site has been the subject of a number of repeated attempts to bring forward development, however unfortunately these have never materialised. Officers consider this application is deliverable and could finally realise the development of this site. The proposal has been the subject of extensive consultation - with officers, the public and consultees - and this has helped to inform the design of the proposal.

"In terms of design, there is plenty to commend in the submission. Inevitably with a proposal that consists of numerous components there are other elements which have required compromises.

"However a balance does need to be struck, and the contribution that the delivery of this scheme could have in terms of bringing regeneration to this important city centre site is a significant consideration in the determination of this planning application."

The applicant hopes to start onsite in the spring of 2017 ready for accommodation to be offered from September 2018 onwards.