A high-quality, contemporary new sustainable building will be built on top of the St Matthew’s Centre, to help meet the challenge of accommodating Cambridge’s student population and ease the pressure on existing housing stock.
The new purpose-built accommodation will be operated and managed by one of Cambridge’s universities or a private provider of purpose-built student accommodation. There will be on call staff, 24-hour security and CCTV.
According to a Cambridge City Council report published in 2017 8,959 purpose-built student rooms need to be built by 2026 to meet current and future accommodation needs. This would accommodate all of the students and would allow the return of all shared houses currently occupied by students to the open market.
Meeting the current student numbers through the provision of purpose-built student accommodation might release into the open market between 1,200 (based on 5 students per shared house) and 1,700 houses (based on 3.5 students per shared house), currently occupied by students sharing.
If purpose-built student accommodation is not available to meet future growth, then by 2026, between 656 (based on 5 students per shared house) and 821 (based on 3.5 students per shared house) additional existing houses would need to be converted into shared student accommodation in order to meet demand.
Because there is not enough purpose-built student accommodation available, many students end up accepting accommodation that is not managed by either a university or a private purpose-built student accommodation provider. In this situation, both the student and the surrounding community have no guarantee that standards and community contact will be maintained.
The plan above shows a typical floor with living accommodation arranged across purpose-built cluster flats, with a collection of bedrooms organised around communal kitchen and dining areas. The building will accommodate 114 students across 14 cluster flats.
This plan shows a porter’s lodge on New Street, with the new building and cafe accessed via a new path that will connect New Street to St Matthew’s Piece.