PLANS for 591 student apartments and 20 affordable homes at a city centre’s largest development site have been unveiled.

Following a series of public consultations, urban regeneration specialist Vita Group has submitted a planning application for the 20 India Street regeneration site in central Glasgow. 

The proposal for the brownfield site includes the provision of 20 new affordable apartments which will be delivered with partner West of Scotland Housing Association and will be made up of 10 one-bedroom apartments suitable for single people or couples, with ten two-bedroom apartments, suitable for families. 

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Vita said that in helping to meet Glasgow’s growing demand for student accommodation, the proposal also includes a new purpose-built-student-accommodation building, which would be about the height of the neighbouring ScottishPower building.

"Designed for Vita Group’s best-in-class student accommodation brand Vita Student, the plans are to create 591 high-quality studio apartments supported by social and study space, a state-of-the-art gym which will be paired with Vita Student’s “outstanding customer experience.

"[It] has been designed to help students maximise their university experience ‘Begin Big’, it includes an on-site operations team delivering regular events, housekeeping, security and more”.

Glasgow Times: The proposal is to transform a site that has been vacant for a decadeThe proposal is to transform a site that has been vacant for a decade (Image: Vita Group)

If successful, the redevelopment could help to create 225 new jobs during the construction phase and a further 20 jobs once the site is operational with an estimated £29 million invested into Glasgow. 

The firm said that over the last decade, demand to study at Glasgow’s leading universities has grown by 27,000 over the last decade and as a result, the city has an undersupply of student accommodation with only 19,279 student beds which creates a shortfall of 58,346 beds. It said it means 75% of full-time students are unable to access purpose-built student accommodation.

In a recent study of 1,000 students by Vita Group, 68 per cent of students in Scotland said they were “forced into the private rental market due to a lack of student accommodation”.

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The same study found the spend power of students to be substantial for boosting the local economy. For example, students spend £136 per week on groceries, toiletries and cleaning products, £113 per week on leisure activities such as eating out, partying and gigs, and £107 per week on luxuries like gym subscriptions, beauty treatments and fashion.

The proposal also includes creating additional commercial units on the ground floor for new retail and leisure opportunities as well as considerable improvements to the public realm.

Vita Group already has one successful student residence in Glasgow, Vita Student West End, which is within a 20-minute walk of the University of Glasgow, and plans for a new food hall at the former ABC Building on Sauchie Hall Street are currently under consultation. 

Max Bielby, Vita Group chief operating officer, said: “Over the last six months we’ve been working with the local community, councillors and a broad spectrum of stakeholders to shape plans for 20 India Street, breathing new life into this brownfield site. Now we’re excited to submit our proposals and bring forward plans for affordable housing, student accommodation and new commercial opportunities at this important site.

“The development emphasises our commitment to Glasgow aims to help to alleviate some of the pressures felt across the city as a result of Glasgow’s growing population and lack of available housing types.” 

Andrew Kubski, director of development & asset management at West of Scotland Housing Association, said: “We are excited about being part of Vita’s well thought through plans for this prominent site within the city centre.

"The location offers our customers further housing options and will provide 20 high quality, energy efficient homes for mid -market rent that align with our development strategy.”

The site was earlier marketed as the largest available development site in the city centre. It was previously home to Nye Bevan House, used by Strathclyde Regional Council and then Glasgow City Council, which was demolished in 2015.