Dozens of students could soon be living on Aberdeen’s Granite Mile after planning permission was granted for 25 flats.
The student flats have been approved for the B-listed former offices of commercial property firm DM Hall, which vacated the Union Street site in 2019.
The plans span over three floors of the building and design drawings show individual living areas, as well as a shared social space with room marked out for a pool table.
Located at Victoria House – between Bon Accord and Dee streets – the apartments will be above restaurants Amarone and Gidi Grill, as well as cosmetic treatment clinic Sk:n.
Plans submitted to Aberdeen City Council in March by Edinburgh-based Inspired City Living revealed that the first, second and third floor of the building would house the flats.
It went before the local authority’s planning committee due to an objection from the City Centre Community Council, who worried about “nuisance” and late night noise.
They also argued that it “would make the existing zone leaning too much towards a student accommodation area”, which they said does not “provide compatibility of use with the family-residential area that is nearby”.
Some other local residents also objected to the plans due to noise and disruption issues, with neighbour Mhiara Mackenzie arguing that it will “ruin the area for residents”.
However, a council noise impact assessment found that due to the development having no parking spaces, it will not have “a significant impact on local air quality”.
With regeneration plans a focal point in improving the fortunes of Aberdeen’s main thoroughfare, moving more people into the area is seen as an important part of this.
‘Great to see the upper floors coming into use’
Councillor Marie Boulton told the committee: “I think it’s great to see the upper floors coming into use, which have been neglected for a long time, so it’s great to see them coming back.”
At a summit to discuss ideas to regenerate Union Street last year, one idea suggestion was getting more students to live in the city centre.
Earlier this year, the former Travelodge on Langstane Place was opened as accommodation for more than 100 students.
On St Andrew’s Street – just off of George Street – the former Hilton hotel is also being turned into student accommodation, with 105 rooms to be available.