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Norwest Holst makes grade in campus deal

CONTRACTS - BIRMINGHAM

ANOTHER student accommodation contract has been let with Norwest Holst, the latest firm to chalk up a lucrative deal.

The firm beat off a host of competitors to take the £28 million scheme at Birmingham University.

Norwest Holst is preferred bidder for the redevelopment of Mason Hall at the university's main Edgbaston campus. It beat Alfred McAlpine, Costain, Interserve, Laing O'Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine to the project.

The Mason Hall scheme involves demolishing existing student residence dating from the 1960s and the design and construction of new student residential f lats. The plans will be worked through by Norwest Holst in conjunction with architect Aedas.

It will comprise around 850 en-suite study bedrooms in self-contained units, which will be in multiple blocks of up to seven storeys.

The development lies within a conservation area and protected parkland, which will have to be taken into consideration when the plans go before Birmingham City Council planning committee later this month.

The university's project leader Paul Lane said: 'There are several areas that need to be considered in the plans.

One would hope they will be approved, but nothing is ever definite with planning.' The university and Norwest Host are now negotiating a final price. Work is due to start next June and should be completed by August, 2008.