Student flats plan for Quasar building
The old Quasar building in Bath city centre could be turned into student accommodation.
A consortium of developers has bought the site, at Ambury, and submitted a planning application to Bath and North East Somerset Council to transform it into flats.
It would contain ten cluster flats, with a total of 48 en-suite bedrooms, and each flat would share a communal kitchen and dining area. The proposal also includes space for bike storage and bins.
Kit Stokes, from planning and development consultants Aspect360, is the agent acting on behalf of the applicants and said they believed there was a space in the market for this type of accommodation.
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He said: "The building has been identified as suitable for a student reuse because it is a large, vacant and dilapidated building which is not protected under planning policy as an employment floorspace.
"There is evidence that there is a strong student market in Bath with many students wishing to live off-campus in the city centre.
"We recognise that there is anecdotal evidence of problems with students living in other parts of Bath. However, the Quasar building is located away from existing family housing and the potential for disturbance from student occupants is therefore not a significant issue.
"It is our view that developments such as this will free up family houses as students choose to live in purpose-built and managed student accommodation."
Mr Stokes added that his clients had experience in providing private student and shared accommodation in both Bath and Bristol and were confident it could be a success.
He said that there had been initial plans to add another floor to the five-storey building, but they had taken advice from council officers who expressed concerns about such expansion.
And he revealed they were dissuaded from doing anything "more imaginative" because the planners were cautious about making too many changes to the building.
The developers hope that, if the £1 million plans are approved, the work would be completed in time for September.
The renovation work includes the recladding of the building in Bath stone and installing new aluminium windows.
The proposal is the latest in a long line of failed schemes to inject new life into the 1930s site since the games centre closed in 2005.
Previous plans on the table have included turning it into a community centre, a nightclub and reopening it as an arcade.
The student accommodation proposal is due to be considered by June 7 and people can submit comments until April 16.