Um, so this student accommodation is now being jointly used as a hotel
Student rooms there cost up to £199 a week
A UK university student accommodation is now being jointly used as a hotel.
A meeting heard how using Wenlock Court student accommodation in Luton as hotel rooms attracts more income to the town.
The halls is made up of flats (rooms in which cost students £131 per week), and self-contained studios, which cost students £199 per week. Its website describes Wenlock Court as part of “the University of Bedfordshire’s only official student accommodation in Luton, and the town’s only on-campus student rooms”, together with another halls called Fitzroy Court.
Two years ago, Campus Living Villages was temporarily given consent for some of its 274 rooms to be used flexibly, despite opposition from hotel owners. The company submitted an application for the joint use of student accom and hotel to be made permanent, and now councillors have unanimously approved making the change of use permanent.
On Hotels.com, Wenlock Court is described as a “no-frills hotel” which boasts 2.5 stars. The website’s reviews rate the hotel as 6/10.
Speaking at a planning committee, Graham Dore said there has not been “significant incident” in the two years since the site has had two uses. He said demand for hotel rooms has gone up post-pandemic, and with “the premises being well-situated for transport links and retail centres, it’s established the scheme would be acceptable”, Bedfordshire Live reports.
Commercial director for CLV Joanne Hawley said: “We’re the University of Bedfordshire’s accommodation partner offering facilities for students.
“Wenlock Court has four blocks providing rooms for second year, third year and mature students. Demand for student places and accommodation in Luton has seen a recent decline. This makes the viability of Wenlock Court challenging. In October 2020, the council granted temporary consent to allow it to be used flexibly for student and hotel accommodation, so the building wasn’t standing half empty.
“CLV has ensured the correct management of different residency types, and is seeking a permanent consent to ensure the property remains viable and operational. It’s in everyone’s interest for the property to be occupied, as it supports local businesses by generating footfall and expenditure for Luton town centre.
“The university has close links with London Luton Airport and EasyJet, and Wenlock Court has potential to accommodate flight crews,” she said. “But talks failed to progress because of the temporary nature of the planning consent.”
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