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£35m student block to breathe life into Colchester's Hythe
PLANS for a 722-room student block in Colchester’s Hythe costing £35million have been approved.
The estate will get a £1million investement as part of the deal.
The cash will be spent on a new bridge across the River Colne, sports and recreation facilities and community events and activities.
Developer Woadguard and Newdex was given permission to build the nine-storey block at the Maltings site, in King Edward Quay.
Vincent Pearce, Colchester Council’s principle planning officer, said: “I think this is our first opportunity to really make a big impact in the Hythe.”
Councillors said the accommodation would not be exclusively for Essex University students.
It will also have a supermarket, restaurant and a gym.
John Lawson, speaking on behalf of the developer, said the first 400 rooms will be built in time for the 2013/14 term, with the last 300 being finished the following year.
He also said possible tenants for the new supermarket and restaurant were already being sought.
Petty officer Tony Adams, of the Colchester Sea Cadets based on the TS Colne lightship off King Edward Quay, said: “I’m ecstatic there are going to be funds available for the local community.
“We are very much looking forward to that being developed.
“It’s the start of the development of the Hythe. It’s looking very positive and is good news all round.”
Sareena Cobden, Hythe Community Centre manager, said it was good news.
She said: “Anything is an improvement on what is on that site now.
“We haven’t seen anything down here for community facilities and activities, so as long as they are true to their word, I’m all for it.
“The community does need to have a say on what is actually done with the money.”