Fishbourne Road East
Developers Gilltown have developed a site adjacent to the Tesco Petrol filling station on Fishbourne Road East, Chichester, West Sussex as purpose-built student accommodation, leased by the University of Chichester.
Speaking to Premier Construction magazine about the project, James Gillespie from Gilltown Ltd said: “We knew that we wanted to build student accommodation on the site so we had our design team develop a scheme and as it gained momentum, the university’s interest increased to the point that they wanted to lease the finished project.”
Gilltown worked alongside main contactors RG Group and Intersect Architects on the development. The site has been designed as a contemporary building that respects Chichester’s local vernacular in scale, massing and material selection.
The site comprises 134 en-suite bedrooms arranged in clusters of 4-6 with shared living/kitchen/dining rooms. The scheme also includes associated ancillary uses such as common room, cinema, study room, management suite, bicycle store, bin store and laundry room.
At the initial planning stages of the development, the scheme was met with some opposition from local residents.
James said: “I think the assumption was that it would have a negative impact on the immediate vicinity through noise, littering and parking which, across the country, are common concerns from residents when it comes to students. The development received consent due to continued liaison with local residents and a robust management plan to minimise impact upon the neighbourhood. There was close engagement with residents from the contractor and everyone including the planners have been pleasantly surprised with the resulting building.”
Since completion, the development has received positive feedback.
“Feedback has been ten out of ten,” added James. “The university has said that it is the best student accommodation scheme that they have seen and they are very pleased.”
Work on the development began in February 2017 and was completed in August 2018 with the site now leased by the University.
James said: “It is nice to be able to influence the accommodation provision and living standards for everyone in the town. We have improved the offing that the university has for its students but we have also provided an alternative accommodation for the students that would otherwise be living elsewhere in the town. These schemes are therefore helping to rebalance communities such that we are putting students in more appropriate accommodation and keeping housing in the town available for key workers and families.”