Green light for student flats plan at abandoned Aberdeen school

Plans by the Unite Group to build student flats on the site of a derelict school in Aberdeen have been approved.

The developer has agreed a deal with Aberdeen City Council to regenerate for the former Causewayend School, which has lain empty since 2008, into housing for around 400 students.

The Victorian school building is in a poor state of repair because of damp and after repeated metal thefts and a deliberate fire that caused £200,000 worth of damage.

Labour councillor for George Street and Harbour ward, Nathan Morrison, said the £20 million plans on the C-listed school site would help bring an end to student accommodation issues in the city.

He said: “It is very good seeing derelict sites being developed, it’s excellent to see these sites are being developed into student housing as well.”

Unite’s managing director of property, Richard Simpson, added: “This site is in an excellent central location, in a market with favourable supply and demand dynamics and in a city we expect to experience continued growth.

“By renovating and bringing back into use a listed building, we are pleased to contribute to the regeneration of this city centre location.

“Aberdeen has a thriving economy underpinned by the oil and gas industry and two strong universities with 1 9,000 full- time students seeking accommodation.”

The development will include communal space and en-suite rooms though the janitor’s house, gym block and bike sheds have been earmarked for potential demolition.

Unite has also pledged to preserve the original granite facade and reuse any granite that can be salvaged.

A Unite spokeswoman said: “What we plan to do is incorporate the listed school building into the design.”

Unite Group has also lodged plans to demolish Matalan on Constitution Street in the city to build new student accommodation.

It is expected that the Matalan store will be closed by the end of next year.

Design and planning manager for Unite, Asif Uz Zaman, revealed the company wants to meet with councillors to discuss the investment before the end of the year.

Mr Zaman added the proposed student accommodation could be complete by 2017.

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