New private student accommodation unveiled

Plans have been unveiled for new private student accommodation on Prince of Wales road, close to the University.

The £8 million developments, which have resulted in the demolition of the old pavilion at Devon County Cricket Ground, are being undertaken by construction company Midas.

The accommodation will house 159 students and will be between three and five stories high. There will be a mix of self-contained studios and cluster flats. The project will also involve the construction of a new state-of-the art, two-storey pavilion complete with changing rooms, kitchen, bar and office space.

Alan Hope, Chief Executive at Midas said: “This is an exciting new development which will not only offer more modern accommodation for those studying at the nearby University of Exeter but also a brand new cricket pavilion protecting the future of Exeter Cricket Club.”

The ground upon which the site is planned is owned by a family trust, which has allowed Exeter Cricket Club to play there rent-free since 1902. This lease ended in 2014, however, and without the development, the future of the cricket club may be left in doubt.

Attempts to list the old pavilion, opened in 1902 by legendary cricketer Dr W.G. Grace, as an English Heritage site were unsuccessful, and the building was demolished on 13 April.

Speaking about the demolition, vice chairman of Exeter Civic Society Hazel Harvey said: “I cannot say we are particularly bothered. The ground would still be there with its lovely view. I am not sure we need more student accommodation, but that’s something else.”

A University spokesperson stated: “This is a private development and has nothing to do with the university. “We are committed to reducing pressure on the city’s housing stock by accommodating more students on campus. As part of this commitment, £130 million worth of new student accommodation has recently been built on our Streatham Campus to provide space for 2,600 students”.

Kate Hawkins, VP for Welfare and Diversity, commented: “Good quality student accommodation is a key priority of the Sabbatical team. We will continue to work with the University to ensure aff ordable campus accommodation is available, and with local landlords to encourage more registrations to the landlord accreditation scheme.”

The accommodation is scheduled to open in June 2016, with the keys to the pavillion being handed over this coming December.

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