Picking up the Telephone

The forthcoming relocation of British Telecom’s Dundee operations to new premises at West Marketgait will mean complete abandonment of the ‘new’ Telephone House, lying between Ward Road and West Bell Street. A planning application for conversion of this building to student accommodation has, however, been submitted (23/00684/FULL).

The office block was erected in the mid-1970s for what was then still known as Post Office Telephones. Built as an extension to the earlier Telephone House at the junction of Ward Road and Courthouse Square, it was one of the city’s biggest office developments. It was designed by the architectural practice of Ian Burke Associates. Visually it is very much of its time, although not necessarily unappealing. The site is a historic one, formerly occupied by the central fire station and (much earlier) the Dundee and Newtyle railway station.

The new proposal is to completely refurbish this outworn building inside and out to make it fit for modern student accommodation, providing over 400 bedspaces and support facilities. This is one of several applications for purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) in the city; and whilst a few projects are underway, significant demand for more quality accommodation remains.

While awaiting further details, the Trust is minded to be supportive of this project in principle.