Councillors back proposals for new teaching facilities and student housing at Stratford

Metropolitan Workshop-designed proposals for new teaching facilities and student accommodation for the University of East London have received the backing of Newham councillors.

Members of the east London borough’s Strategic Development Committee on Tuesday approved the university’s plans for 650 student beds and 4,913sq m of teaching and learning space on land next to its exisiting campus at Stratford.

The new facilities – the tallest element of which will be a 16-storey accommodation block – are earmarked for a 0.92ha plot in the north-east secion of the Water Lane campus that is mainly occupied by car-parking space.

UEL’s proposals form part of its £200m-plus “Connected Campus” investment programme that aims to create a “more pioneering, vibrant and welcoming space” for students and staff.

Recommending the applicaton for approval, Newham planning officers said the redevelopment of the Stratford Campus represented “positive and sustainable long-term solution for the site” that focused on education, student and community uses.

UEL Stratford 2

Metropolitan Workshop’s proposed expansion of the University of East London’s campus at Stratford

“The proposal would provide a high standard of student accommodation, with a broad mix of sizes and tenures,” they said. “The development maximises the affordable student provision at 35% in accordance with the London Plan.

“The proposed development provides safer, more activated, legible connections across the site and through Torrens Square to Cedars Road.”

Officers added that the proposals included new publicly-accessible green spaces within the courtyard and public-realm landscaping improvements.

UEL Stratford 7

Metropolitan Workshop’s proposed Teaching and Learning Building at Stratford

They acknowledged that the proposals would result in “less than substantial harm” to nearby heritage assets, which include UEL’s grade II*-listed University House, designed by Gibson and Russell. But officers said the benefits of the scheme outweighed the harm.

The proposals will now be referred to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

As well as Metropolitan Workshop, UEL’s project team includes project manager Total Property Solutions, structural and civil engineers Whitby Wood, QS Rider Levett Bucknall, and landscape architect Spacehub.

UEL Stratford 6