Student flats plan for former Dundee jute factory

Plans have been revealed to turn the final empty unit in Dundee’s historic Tay Mills jute factory into student flats.

Dundee City Council has backed plans by the owner to transform the street level block at the Marketgait site into 22 duplex studio apartments.

The upper levels of the A-listed mill were converted in a major renovation in 1986 and contain 414 bed spaces in the form of student flats ranging from two to six bedrooms.

The lower floors were redeveloped as commercial premises in the 1986 renovation but have remained vacant since 2005, prompting fears over their long-term security.

Owner Crosslane Student Accommodation has also been given the green light to reconfigure the internal layout of the upper floors to create more smaller flats, in line with market demand.

Permission was also granted for a new management and reception area to be created in the vacant block.

Tay Mills was originally built in 1851 in an area which was dominated by jute mills.

Many of the mills in the adjacent streets have now been converted into artists studios, recreational venues, offices and homes but retain their original facades.

At Tay Mills many of the flats contain original features such as cast-iron beams, brick arches with wrought iron ties and sash and case windows.

It is sited very close to both Dundee University and Abertay University and is now one of the biggest student accommodation complexes in Dundee.

A design statement supporting the owner’s planning application says: “The existing retail unit has been vacant for years with little successful interest from the market in Dundee.

“The proposed studio units respond to an existing demand in Dundee, with the buildings operator seeing 100 per cent uptake of the existing studio units, with additional interest that they cannot currently accommodate.

“Externally the changes to the building will be minimal, and reversible, and of no detriment to the building’s character. Internally, the changes to the building will enhance the character of the building.”

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