This week’s blog is written by the University of Exeter Communications Team – Campus Services, and is all about the building works taking place at some of our residences and in close proximity to some of our residences during the 2020/21 academic year.

Essential repairs and improvement works are taking place on a number of blocks at our Streatham Campus during the 2020/21 academic year. The blocks directly affected will be located at our Lafrowda and Birks Grange Village residences. Works will also be underway to create new student accommodation at our East Park site, which is near to Garden Hill House (postgraduate residence) and some of our Lafrowda residence blocks. Further information about East Park can be found towards the end of this blog.

What’s going to be happening with the essential repairs and improvement works?
The works will involve updating the exterior of the building of two blocks in Lafrowda (Merrivale and Caldwell), and one in Birks Grange Village (Block H).

What should I expect if I live in a block affected by the essential repairs?
To carry out the updates to the exterior of the building during term one and term two, scaffolding will be erected around the affected blocks in Lafrowda and Birks Grange Village.

You can watch a video from some of our past students to find out more about what it has been like to live in an affected block.

I’ve heard there is a rent reduction – how does this work?
Every effort will be made to reduce the disruption caused by the essential repairs and improvement works, however rent reductions will be available for students living in residences in 2020/210 who have works taking place to the exterior of the block they live in. If you live in a block where external works will be taking place you will receive a rent reduction of £20 per week. This will be applied to cover the period the works are taking place in each rent instalment.

Please note, if you live in a block in close proximity, you will not be eligible for a rent reduction.

Which blocks will be affected?
To see the locations of the scheduled works, take a look at our essential repairs and improvements maps:

Are the residences safe to live in?
The planned works will not affect the operation of the accommodation, which remain safe, fully functioning and able to be occupied. The works will be planned carefully to ensure the impact is as minimal as possible for those residents in the affected blocks.

How do I apply to live in, or request to not live in an affected block?
When applying for accommodation you will have the opportunity to specify if you would consider living in an area where works are planned. However, whether we will be able to meet your request will depend on the volume of applications.

We advise students to check their accommodation offer carefully, at which point you will know if you have been offered a room where works are taking place, and the level of rent reduction you would receive. The information provided on our website will continue to be updated so that you can check the detail of works planned for your allocated accommodation. Please consider all information carefully before accepting your offer.

What works are currently underway to create new student residences in close proximity to existing blocks?
East Park is across the valley from the North West corner of Lafrowda (closest to blocks D-G). East Park is being opened in two phases: Phase 1 will open in September 2020, and during 2020-21 works will continue to complete Phase 2. In total East Park will feature 1182 new bedrooms. You can see more about the location of East Park and which residences are in close proximity to the development on our dedicated webpage.

Typically construction works take place from 08:00 – 18:00 Monday to Friday and 08:00 – 13:00 on Saturdays. All works are carefully managed and we publish regular lookaheads (containing information on anticipated levels of disruption) on the East Park website, as well as in noticeboards nearby the site. Please note if you live in close proximity to these works you will not be eligible for a rent reduction.

Where can I find more information?
Visit the Developments on Campus webpage for full details.

When in residence you will receive Weekly Updates from the project team and points of contact will be available to handle any concerns you may have whilst the works are taking place.

We are seeking to provide you with as much detail as we are able to at this moment, however this could be changed by events outside the University’s control. For the avoidance of any doubt, the refund associated with the essential repairs and improvement works will only be payable if the works proceed.

University of Exeter Communications Team – Campus Services