Belfast City Council yesterday evening granted planning permission at May’s planning committee for revised proposals seeking to add new recreational facilities to an existing purpose built and managed student accommodation development located on Nelson Street near the Ulster University’s Belfast campus.
Previous approval was granted in 2017 for 774-bed student accommodation on Nelson Street, and work has begun on the site. The revised proposals signal an increased investment in new recreational facilities within the courtyard and ground floor, whilst retaining the existing 774-bed student accommodation building. The plans were submitted by major UK student accommodation operator, Student Roost.
The application seeks to provide high class recreation facilities that will contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing of people studying and working at the new Ulster University campus. The new planning approval grants permission for the inclusion of new sports and recreation facilities, with activity areas that will include a games hall, wellness room and VR sports room. Smaller activity zones and breakout spaces will also be integrated into the new design to encourage active socialising.
Student Roost will own and operate Nelson Street, which is planned to open ahead of the 2024/25 academic year. The company is the third largest purpose-built student accommodation provider in the UK, operating 22,000 beds in 56 properties across 22 different university cities. Student Roost already has a strong presence in Belfast and Nelson Street will be its fifth property in the city. Its fourth and most recent Belfast property, Little Patrick Street, opened in 2020.
Neil Howells, Head of Development at Student Roost, said: “The plans for Nelson Street were already exciting, but we’re delighted that the new proposal for these additional sports and recreation facilities has been approved.
“As one of the largest student accommodation providers in the country, we know how important fitness and leisure are to our residents’ health and wellbeing. We’re sure that students in Belfast will love living at Nelson Street and using the facilities there.”
The design of the recreation spaces will support the delivery of high-quality active frontage to the existing building in order to improve the streetscape of the growing community surrounding the new Ulster University campus.
The proposal also allows the development to be used as short-stay accommodation outside traditional term times exclusively for further or higher education institution staff or for individuals attending events hosted by a further or higher education institution. This provision of occupancy of the development outside of the traditional in-semester months seeks to support the vibrancy and footfall within this area of the city.
For more information about Student Roost, visit: https://www.studentroost.co.uk/locations/belfast