A £23 million 252-room student flats development near Colchester town centre has unveiled.

Host is now marketing flats at its under construction scheme at 27 Magdalen Street to existing and prospective University of Essex and University Centre Colchester students.

Made up of eight studio flats and 244 en suite bedrooms sharing kitchen facilities, the development will be ready to open for the new intake in September.

Kate Wojciechowski, south east regional manager for Host, said the firm was excited to launch its first scheme in Essex.

“We have been in the market for more than 20 years and we have worked with a variety of partners over that time,” she said.

“We use that experience to make sure the buildings meet the needs of the students.

“We have evolved our designs a lot because the student market has evolved.

“One of the mains things about Colchester is that a lot of our competitors do not have staff on site 24/7 which is essential for us.

“Students want a new building but at the end of the day they want someone one site.

“They want maintenance issues to be dealt with the same day and they want a friendly face and good customer service.”

As well on-site staff, the development also has laundry facilities, shared common and study rooms and 200mbs per second internet speed.

Some residents have raised concerns about the development, which is being built on the site of a former bus depot, questioning whether there was a market for student flats close to the town centre and nearly two miles from the University of Essex.

However, Host says it has already received significant interest and expects to be fully occupied at the start of the new academic year.

Ms Wojciechowski said: “We have spoken to a lot of students who say they are looking at us because they want to be close to the town centre. They might work in town and want to be closer to their jobs.”

She added the firm is confident the students will become part of the community.

Ms Wojciechowski said: “We have had some residents say they do not want students living near them.

“I understand that, it is a big change for them, and they expect students to bring anti-social behaviour with them.

“But from our experience that is not true and on the majority of our sites we do not have any issues.

“I am confident the community will see this as a positive once they see it in action.”

For more information, visit host-students.com/locations/colchester.