Car-free student scheme secures community arts hub

Future Generation has gained planning permission for a new £80 million student accommodation scheme in Hackney Wick, in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets.  The Vogue will deliver 330 bedrooms and is close to several university campuses.  Motion provided the scheme with transport and travel planning advice. The company also supported the application with delivery and servicing, and construction management planning.

The car-free development will also assure the future of popular community arts hub, Stour Space, which has been given a home within the new complex, obtaining a 149-year lease.  Stour Space opened in 2009 and has been a local engine of creativity and community involvement.  It will continue to offer free co-workspaces, affordable studio spaces and a unique gallery at its new location.

Andrew Southern, Chairman of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) developer Future Generation, comments, “Stour Space will have a home in the new development for generations on a peppercorn rent.  It’s a hugely proud achievement for us and will cement this scheme as the beating heart of what will become a new, young and vibrant community.” 

He continues, “This area was fairly industrial before but, once The Vogue is completed, it will be given a whole new lease of life, and a more sustainable one too.  The development’s focus on walking and cycling will give the area a flavour of what all future London developments should achieve, given the unique transport network the capital enjoys.”

Sustainable travel planning

In accordance with the draft London plan, the accommodation will provide one cycle space for every student.  Motion demonstrated that the development would not result in a notable increase in vehicle trips, with students using other, more sustainable, modes of travel.

According to Motion Technical Director David McMurtary, “There is a wide range of nearby public transport options, including bus and railway stations, and the site benefits from good foot and cycle access to universities and amenities.”  He adds, “Students will have no need for regular access to a private car.  The scheme includes provision of six parking spaces designated for disabled users, located on the immediate surrounding highway close to the building entrance.”

It is anticipated that several students will be dropped off at the start of term and collected at the end.  Parking will be available for up to 30 minutes while personal possessions are moved to or from rooms.  Careful management of on-street parking spaces will ensure the system will cause minimal-to-no disruption on the local road network.

An abridged version of this article first appeared in the Autumn 2020 edition of Insight.

Image credit: © Future Generation/Henley Halebrown

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