Thursday 23 June 2011

How will students change the face of Wembley?

Victoria Hall opposite Wembley Park station, opening September 2011

Wembley Park will soon have more than 2,500 units of private student accommodation.  Some of the accommodation replaces plans for  family housing that has become less viable in the current recession.

Under Construction:
Victoria Hall (Wembley Park) - opening September 2011 436 beds
Quintain iQ (Planning area W05) - under construction, opening 2012 660 beds
Planning granted:
Dexion House, Empire Way - 661 beds
Yet to be finally approved:
Quintain NW Lands- up to 880 beds

Total beds:  2,636

The accommodation, run by private companies, will be aimed at students attending the University of Westminster's Harrow Campus and the central London universities such as Imperial College, Kings, SOAS and the LSE.  The Council argues that it will still be able to meet its housing targets.

The Dexion House scheme also  involves the construction of a community swimming pool on the site - a welcome addition to Wembley amenities.

The Council suggests that the presence of students will boost the local economy and put a figure of £4m on annual living costs and spending of Dexion House students.   Much will depend on whether the students use the accommodation as dormitories and socialise around their college or whether they do that around Wembley. If the latter  there could be considerable changes in terms of restaurants, cafes, pubs and bookshops. The council also argues that the students will contribute by volunteering in the community and will enhance the image of the area as a safe investment.

Politically they could make a considerable difference. Tokygnton ward in which all the accommodation so far will be situated only has a population of 11,800.

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