HUNDREDS of student flats are to be built on a derelict site near Partick Cross.

Planners gave the go-ahead after hearing there is a massive shortage of accommo-dation for young people at city universities.

Glasgow Harbour is to build 503 studio style flats and two shops on a site bordered by Beith Street, Castlebank Street and Anderson Street.

The development will be 10 storeys at its highest sloping down to six storeys.

Because of the recent number of applications for student flats in the West End, Glasgow City Council demanded a study be carried out which showed there was demand for more accommodation.

It found there is a total of 50,880 full-time students and 14,195 part-time students attending Glasgow, Strathclyde and Caledonian univer-sities, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Con-servatoire of Scotland.

The five main higher education institutions in the city offer accommo-dation for 6219 students - often only to first-year students - which is only 10% of the total student population in the city.

The private sector offers accommodation for 4678 students which is around 7% of the student population.

Recently, 15 student accommodation developments have received planning permission and are under construction or yet to be started. These will provide a further 2714 student beds.

A report from Richard Brown, the council's executive director of development and regeneration, says: "When combined, these factors offer accommo-dation for 13,611 students which is 21% of all students, meaning 51,645 students are residing at home with parents, in HMO's or other private rented accommodation."

Partick Community Council had raised concerns about the over development of student accommodation in the area. Peel Ports Clydeport property director Euan Jamieson said they were pleased to get the consent.