Council Approval for New Graduate Accommodation


Proposals by local developer, Howard Osborne LLP, to build modern, purpose-built accommodation for us on the site of Mount Pleasant House (on the Huntingdon Road) were approved yesterday (1 February) by Cambridge City Council’s planning committee. Howard Osborne LLP is a joint venture between Cambridge based Howard Property Group and Osborne who specialise in developing student accommodation.

The plans have been brought forward in partnership with the College and will see the existing office building and 145 car parking spaces demolished and replaced with four new blocks centred around two south-facing courtyards.  The accommodation will provide en-suite bedrooms and studio flats for around 280 graduate students and university/ college staff.  Cycle parking will be included, encouraging the use of sustainable transport and helping to reduce vehicle traffic in the local area.

The detailed designs of the new buildings have been prepared by Cambridge based architects R H Partnership with advice from Nicholas Hare Architects LLP acting as consultant architects.  The proposals have evolved following a full public consultation in summer 2015 and feedback from the local community and Cambridge City Council’s Design and Conservation Panel.

Speaking about the council’s decision to approve the application, William Jewson, on behalf of Howard Osborne, said:

“We are delighted that our plans for Mount Pleasant Halls have been approved.  They will provide high quality graduate accommodation for St Edmund’s College in an ideal location, at the same time as regenerating the Mount Pleasant site.  We would like to thank both the local community and the Design and Conservation Panel for the role they have played in helping us to develop and improve our proposals for the site.”

Dr Richard Anthony, the Bursar, said: “We welcome the council’s decision to approve the plans. We have grown substantially in recent years and we have long believed that the Mount Pleasant site is the ideal location for new student accommodation, given its proximity to the college.  The plans will enable us to offer new high quality accommodation to our students at the same time as reducing pressure on rented housing in the private sector.” 

It is anticipated that work on site will start this autumn with the demolition of the existing Mount Pleasant House.  The build programme is expected to take around 18 months, with the new student accommodation ready for occupation in the summer of 2019.

Howard Osborne LLP are committed to being a considerate contractor and to working closely with the local community to minimise any disruption to neighbours during the construction process.

Mount Pleasant Hall is part of a larget scheme to expand and improve the College site. A video of the Master explaining the entire development can be viewed on YouTube.

Howard Group:

Howard Group currently holds £110m of commercial property, predominantly in the East of England and London.


Osborne is one of the UK’s leading construction businesses who create the structures and spaces that provide an environment for people to thrive in. We strive to be a vibrant growing business, chosen for our customer led solutions.

Being family owned, means we have the freedom and flexibility to take a different approach, providing the best solution for our customers and putting them at the heart of everything we do. From rail to road, housing to healthcare, however large the project or contract, we know that it is always personal to the people who use it and those that are responsible for it.