Overhaul of student digs planned

PUBLISHED: 13:54 20 December 2019

The proposed designs for the redevelopment of Francis Gardner Apartments, in West End Lane. Picture: Empiric Student Property plc

The proposed designs for the redevelopment of Francis Gardner Apartments, in West End Lane. Picture: Empiric Student Property plc


Plans to redevelop a 1950s student accommodation block in West Hampstead have gone on public display.

The proposals for the Francis Gardner Apartments, in West End Lane, would see the number of students housed increase from 70 to 86.

The building's owner, Empiric Student Property plc (ESP), says the building's age means it no longer meets modern environmental standards.

On December 16, neighbours and other stakeholder were invited to see the plans which include a mix of studio, one, two and four-bedroom apartments; a cinema room; and a gym.

Nicada Drayton, development manager at ESP, said: "We are delighted to unveil designs for the new Francis Gardner Apartments, which will give students a comfortable retreat from fast-paced city life.

"Camden's world-renowned universities, including UCL, SOAS and Birkbeck, attract students from all over the world.

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"We believe it is right that students should be offered high quality accommodation too. It helps create a good impression of the borough and of London.

"Empiric aims to be a good neighbour before, during and after construction work. We are keen to engage with as many local residents as possible over the coming weeks, especially those in neighbouring properties."

Neil Munro, project lead at Susan Stephen Architects, said: "We were very pleased to meet people who live and work in West Hampstead and discuss our emerging designs with them.

"We are very grateful that people took the time to come and see us and enjoyed the conversations we had.

"We have greatly enjoyed developing the project so far but are keen to continue listening.

"Constructive feedback is always appreciated and will be carefully considered before we submit our planning application to the London Borough of Camden early next year."

The public exhibition was held at the Kingsgate Community Centre, but those who were unable to attend can review the plans and submit feedback by visiting or calling 0800 061 4979.

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