Balfour Beatty appointed to develop new student housing on campus

The University of Sussex has appointed Balfour Beatty Student Accommodation (BBSA) as the preferred bidder for the development and operation of new student accommodation on campus.

East SlopeEast Slope residences

The competitive tender process was designed to find a long-term partner to facilitate the redevelopment of East Slope.

Subject to planning permission, it is hoped the site will accommodate 2,000 new bedrooms as well as a new building for the Students’ Union, which will incorporate administrative and social facilities.

The redevelopment of East Slope, which currently has 600 bedrooms, has been part of the University’s housing development strategy since 2004 and is part of the Campus Masterplan (although the planning application will be submitted separately).

The Registrar and Secretary, John Duffy, said: “The current buildings date back to the early 1970s and are now reaching the end of their life.

“While we recognise the affection that many former and current students feel for East Slope, our aim is to continue providing high-quality and affordable accommodation that matches our future needs.

“In considering the redevelopment options, we invited students to tell us what sort of facilities they would like to have in their accommodation and these results were fed into the design and planning process.”

The tender proposal requires the University’s partner to design, build, fund and operate the new residences for up to 50 years. The University will retain the delivery of pastoral care and student administrative services.

The Finance Director, Allan Spencer, said: “This was a highly competitive tender process, in which we received several excellent bids.

“Balfour Beatty demonstrated a strong understanding of our desire to develop high-quality accommodation while maintaining the character of the natural landscape of Sussex within the setting of the South Downs National Park.

“They were able to address our critical requirements as well as having extensive experience in delivering large-scale projects of this nature.

“Following planning approval, we will be working closely with Balfour Beatty to ensure that we minimise any on-site disruption to our University community during the phased construction process.”

It is anticipated that the first phase of additional accommodation will be ready for the start of the 2017-18 academic year in September 2017.

Ian Woosey, Business Development Director for BBSA, said: “Balfour Beatty is delighted to have been chosen as the University’s investment partner in the proposed Residential Development Partnership to deliver the East Slope residences project.

“The extensive dialogue we have had with the University has resulted in proposals that complement the existing campus, contribute to the University’s sustainability objectives and will provide an environment that enhances the students’ experience.

“We now look forward to working with the University to achieve planning approval and deliver this important project.”

For background information, see the web pages about the project.