Student housing plans submitted for iconic Gillows building

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.
An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

Student housing provider CityBlock has submitted plans for a new development in an iconic Lancaster building.

The firm wants to redevelop the Gillows building in North Road in a multi-million pound project to convert the premises into student accommodation.

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

The building is currently mostly empty and will be the latest development in CityBlock’s growing UK portfolio.

Sean Smith from SSHARC architects has proposed a unique solution to transform the Grade II listed building into luxury ensuite student accommodation.

The central theme is to provide additional shared social spaces to aid and improve resident interaction as well as providing the necessary quiet bedroom study spaces.

“The proposals aim to deliver a transformational change for the site, providing bespoke accommodation of the highest standards, wrapped up in a key townscape building.

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

“The designs respect the historic conservation area setting whilst outwardly expressing and celebrating the building’s main function as vibrant living space.”

The proposed plans have been welcomed in consultations with the city’s design advisory panel and other statutory consultants.

This design, due for completion in August 2017 ‘raises the bar’ in both quality and sustainability and will complement Lancaster and the rest of the CityBlock portfolio.

“We are delighted to be submitting plans for a 5th site in Lancaster”, said CityBlock CEO Trevor Bargh, who founded CityBlock in 2003.

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

An artist's impression of how the Gillows building would look.

“Our blocks in Lancaster are fully booked once again this year with long waiting lists supporting a strong demand for CityBlock’s student accommodation model.”

Richard Barton, partner at specialist consultancy firm HOW Planning, said: “CityBlock have already delivered some of Lancaster’s most exclusive and ambitious student accommodation and plans for its latest scheme demonstrates their continuing commitment to investing in the city.”