Top grade student digs in city conservation area get go ahead from planners

Simon Foote Architects (SFA) has gained planning permission for a development in Derby’s Friar Gate Conservation Area that will see 39 upmarket student apartments built on the former Samways Cycle store on Ashbourne Road.

One of their long standing clients purchased the property in 2016 and approached SFA immediately to look at the potential of re-developing the site. The proposal was to create a contemporary designed student apartment complex.


The initial proposal was discussed in pre application advice with Derby City Council and although the principle of the development and of a new modern façade was welcomed, it was agreed that a more sympathetic design would be put together for the Ashbourne Road frontage; so while retaining a clear modern approach, design influence was taken from many of the other Georgian buildings which neighbour the site further along Ashbourne road.

The proposed development will consist of 39 self-contained student apartments. The overall quality of the apartments has been of great significance and will hopefully raise the bar of the standard expected with student accommodation in the city.

The development will set itself apart from most other student developments by creating an open communal garden space to the rear of the site. This will provide a much needed visual relief for both the student occupants and for the neighbouring residents whose current outlook from the back of their properties, is the large grey warehouse which sits immediately to the rear of their gardens. The proposal also includes a communal entertainment room which fronts on to Ashbourne road, as well as a 24hr manned concierge office and launderette facilities.

A spokesperson for the planning department at Bondholder Derby City Council said: “the location is appropriate for providing bespoke student accommodation. It is within the identified University Quarter and has good access to university sites, as well as to other local services and facilities and to the city centre.”