Green light for student residence near London’s Olympic Park

Green light for student residence near London’s Olympic Park

Purpose-built student accommodation specialist Alumno and partners Hurlington Capital have recently gained approval for a new development on Marshgate Lane in Stratford, east London. The proposed site lies adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the UK capital’s highly successful 2012 Games. 

Planning permission for the development was granted on 27 February 2024. The decision follows detailed consultation with the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the body set up post 2012 Olympics to develop a dynamic new heart for east London, tasked with creating opportunities for local people and driving innovation and growth. 

The joint venture project between Alumno and Hurlington Capital will house 316 students and is designed by award-winning London architects Henley Halebrown. 

Adjoining the future new Pudding Mill Lane Masterplan currently being developed by LLDC, the development will be built adjacent to the Docklands Light Railway station of the same name. 

University College London (UCL) has expressed interest in a nominations agreement, with the site being just a 10-minute walk from its new East Campus. This would enable UCL to propose a minimum number of students for the new residence each year for an agreed period. 

Residents of the new development will enjoy a range of amenities specifically designed to create the ideal environment for study and leisure. These include lounges, study spaces, cinema room, private dining area, gym, games room, external courtyard spaces and four individual roof terraces. Plus, 35% of rooms will be designated as affordable as defined through the London Plan. 

In line with Alumno’s commitment to each of its projects benefitting the local community, the adjacent canal towpath will be upgraded and a number of affordable artist workspaces are proposed for the ground floor. This initiative will be run in partnership with SPACE Studios, London’s leading visual arts organisation, which supports artists by providing creative workspace, advocacy and professional development. 

“We’re delighted to have gained approval for another new Alumno development, which will help close London’s student accommodation gap, free up local community housing and provide welcome rejuvenation and an economic boost to the area,” said Alumno Managing Director David Campbell. 

Commenting on the project, Hurlington Capital Managing Director Harry de Lotbiniere said: “The successful outcome at Marshgate Lane marks the fourth PBSA scheme in Hurlington’s London pipeline demonstrating our continued commitment to investment in the sector. We look forward to delivering this fantastic project alongside our partners at Alumno.”

Planning consultants Knight Frank supported the submission, playing a key role in securing approval. “We worked hard with officers in a positive and constructive way to make sure that we achieved the design standards expected by the LLDC and our university partner, while also ensuring a very constrained site is deliverable,” explained Knight Frank Partner Chris Benham. “The site represents the missing piece of the Pudding Mill Lane puzzle, and its delivery will play a key role in the continued regeneration of the area.”

Commenting on the design of the building, Henley Halebrown Associate Jack Hawthorne said: “This is an important project for the practice, particularly in light of the wellbeing of young people and the role that architecture and their environment can play in this. On an urban level the scheme forms a key piece of the emerging Pudding Mill Lane development, establishing a new street that connects Marshgate Lane with the City Mill River. This street will be characterised by a lively ground floor populated with artists’ studios and social space for students, encouraging communities to mix and rooting the building in its surroundings.”

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