An £80 million purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Hackney Wick has been granted planning permission, at the same time securing the future of an embattled community cultural hub.
The project from student accommodation specialist Future Generation will guarantee the future of treasured community arts body Stour Space until 2168.
The Vogue, a mixed-use scheme in Stour Road, Hackney Wick, will boast 330 bedrooms once complete, with 35% of the accommodation set to be subject to affordable rents.
The development, which has been designed by RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architects Henley Halebrown, received planning consent at a meeting of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) Planning Committee on Wednesday.
The decision represents great news for Stour Space, a local community arts organisation which has been given a home in the new complex, guaranteeing its future for nearly 150 years.
Future Generation, which is the PBSA arm of developer Southern Grove, has set aside 25% of its 1,908 sqm of commercial space for the not-for-profit body, which will get a 149-year lease on a peppercorn rent, providing it with a stable footing well into the next century. The lease will be held by a trust – the Stour Trust – which has been created for this purpose.
Stour Space, which first opened its doors in 2009, ‘has been at the heart of creativity, enterprise and community in the area’ ever since. The arts and cultural organisation narrowly avoided closure earlier this year when it had to quickly raise funds towards rent on its Roach Rd premises, and its future on that site remains uncertain. Stour Space will continue to offer free co-workspaces, affordable studio spaces and a unique local gallery at its new headquarters at The Vogue.
The new development had been subject to lengthy discussions with representatives of the Greater London Authority (GLA) and LLDC, including its Quality Review Panel and Planning Committee. In addition, extensive consultation was carried out with local residents and businesses to ensure they were on board with the scheme.
“We’ve managed to deliver on a key ambition for the community with The Vogue and we’ve raised the bar on the dividends that student accommodation can bring to the local area. We couldn’t be happier for Stour Space,” Andrew Southern, chairman of Future Generation and Southern Grove, said.
“Professional property development is not about cramming in as many bedrooms as you can and this student accommodation really is a cut above the rest,” he added.
“The Vogue will occupy a site that is currently relatively industrial but will come to represent a new regeneration centre for the community, encouraging new businesses to open to serve the thousands of people who will flow through the area every day.”
Juliet Can, co-founder of Stour Space, also commented: “We’re absolutely delighted that the future of Stour Space has been given the strongest foundation and we can’t wait to set up the Stour Trust, with exciting projects in the pipeline.”
“It’s fantastic that we’re going to be surrounded by a vibrant community of young people and we can concentrate on delivering opportunities for the people of Hackney Wick and Fish Island, as well as the wider community, with a sustainable platform through this development.”