Fresh plans have been submitted to build 127 student bedrooms in Twerton after the last bid was rejected.
Developers say the £10million project to demolish the Jubilee Centre and create a new building standing up to five storeys high will help the economy out of the coronavirus crisis.
Storage and a new space for the existing tenants, Mercy in Action, would be created on the ground level, with professionally managed student bedrooms above.
Applicants Longacre Estates and Watkin Property Ventures say they will future-proof the accommodation so it can be converted into residential apartments if the demand for student housing drops off.
The plans say: “The proposed purpose-built student accommodation will provide a mix of cluster flats and studios and will be provided to the market on a speculative basis.
“It is intended that the purpose-built student accommodation will be managed by a reputable student management company who are already managing existing purpose-built student accommodation elsewhere in the city.
“The design has been fully future proofed so that the accommodation proposed on the upper floors could be converted into residential apartments in the event that demand for purpose-built student accommodation reduces in future.”
Mercy in Action runs a food bank and also uses the site to store and distribute recycled clothes and needs the outside space so the accommodation will be “car free”.
The application says the charity would be forced to consider relocating to Bristol if the project did not go ahead.
It adds: “Purpose-built student accommodation is a use that can be proposed on a car free basis and could generate sufficient revenue to enable the redevelopment.
“It is also considered that the location of the site is more suited for transitory purpose-built student accommodation as opposed to permanent residential accommodation and would make more effective use of a relatively small site area in a prominent gateway location.”
The plans say the importance of new investment in the city following disruption caused by the pandemic “cannot be understated” and it will revitalise Twerton.
A previous application to redevelop the site with 136 student beds was rejected by Bath and North East Somerset Council in 2018.
The developers say they have addressed their concerns.
The council will consider the new application.
Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter