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University applies to convert historic Durham hotel
11:55am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
A PLANNING application has been submitted to turn a landmark hotel into student accommodation.
Durham University has formally lodged the plan to convert the historic Three Tuns Hotel in New Elvet, Durham, into accommodation for University (Castle) College postgraduate students.
The university hopes to eventually create accommodation for up to 50 students in the former 16th Century coaching inn, which closed in May with the loss of about 20 jobs.
The planning application, formally submitted this week, includes minor physical changes to the former hotel, such as the installation of pin boards and shelves, as well as the change of use which is described as ‘not too far removed in purpose’.
The Heritage Statement accompanying the proposal highlights the potential loss of heritage value and significance if the change to student accommodation is not properly managed. It recommended that future development plans include for the removal of inappropriate past interventions and suggested that they may also look at improving the quality of the south car park space.
The university says 28 students are already living in the former 50-bed hotel. If the proposal is accepted, the building will eventually house 47 postgraduate students, two visiting fellows and one warden.
A Durham University spokesperson confirmed that: "There are currently 28 postgraduate students living in the former Three Tuns Hotel with potential to eventually house up to 50.
"We have employed three full-time porters and three housekeeping staff who work on site.
"The refurbishment proposals and programme for redevelopment of the remainder of the building are currently being reviewed."
Elvet Residents’ Association expressed concerns over other buildings in the university’s care, saying that empty premises have left neighbours "worried".
A spokesperson for the association added: "Elvet Residents’ Association has no particular concern about the proposal, though it regrets the loss of an historic central Durham hotel and venue.
"Hopefully, the University will restore this dilapidated structure which is a landmark in New Elvet."
A decision on the application is expected within the next few months.
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