Proposals for new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) on Glasgow’s St George’s Road by award-winning developer Alumno have obtained ‘minded-to-grant’ approval from the local authority. The submission was so well received it was granted permission by delegated decision without the need for planning committee consultation, an increasingly rare scenario.
Glasgow’s five universities host over 76,000 students, almost half of which are living principally in private rented accommodation. This puts significant pressure on local housing, which the new development will help to relieve. Works are due to begin next year, with Alumno planning to welcome students to the residence for the start of the 2026 academic year. Alumno has previously delivered the well regarded Hyndland House in Brighton on the city’s Dumbarton Rd.
Designed by Carson & Partners in collaboration with Stallan Brand, the new six-storey building will comprise a range of high-quality single ensuite bedrooms with shared kitchens and self-sufficient studios, accommodating 262 students in total. There will also be a number of accessible rooms for those with additional needs. To create an ideal environment for both socialising and work, communal spaces will be provided, including a private dining room, lounge, and common study space on the fifth floor.
The development will also restore a commercial unit to the current vacant site, providing a local business opportunity. Meanwhile, external landscaping will enhance the surrounding area for residents and the local community.
A key factor in successfully securing planning permission was Alumno’s careful consideration of the Glasgow City Development Plan’s recommendations, particularly with respect to placemaking and sustainability. The PBSA specialist prioritises placemaking in all of its projects to ensure they benefit the local community. This approach has seen Alumno provide workspaces for graduates and local startups, create new public art spaces and restore historic buildings.
Initial plans for the St George’s Road development include commissioning work by local artists and poets based on Glasgow’s art history to enhance the entrance and courtyard, both of which will be visible from the street. The new building is also aiming for a BREEAM Excellent sustainability ranking.
Architecturally, at ground level a transparent dual aspect reception will physically and visually connect one of two landscaped courtyards to the street, while its adjoining retail space will help to breathe life back into the area. The plan, elevation and massing treatments follow a rational approach in response to local architectural characteristics. Meanwhile, the extruded nature of the front corner, incorporating a roof top communal living room, and the articulation of the facade along Grant Street are both familiar Glasgow west end terrace features.
“We are delighted to have gained planning permission for this important development – our second in the city – which will provide much needed high-quality accommodation for Glasgow students,” said Alumno Managing Director David Campbell. “Our overarching intention is to respect the diverse community of Woodlands and St Georges Cross, while reconnecting and repairing the missing corner of St George’s Road, reinforcing the character of the area, and re-introducing a commercial space at street level.”
Image provided by Three-sixty Total Communications.