Up to 80 builders on site as Sky Building flats to be finished within weeks

Plans have been lodged to change the appearance of a long-awaited student flat complex - just weeks before it is set to open. Deakin's Yard in Newcastle, previously known as the Sky Building, is finally expected to be finished in August - seven years after work started on the six-storey building.

Integritas Property Group, which took over the project last year, has now submitted plans to add external cladding to the fourth floor of the building. According to application for the 'non-material amendment', submitted to Newcastle Borough Council, this change will allow the developer to 'finish the project on time'. The exterior of the first, second and third floors will still be brickwork, as originally planned.

Alterations are also set to be made to the boundary treatment and landscaping, to allow the addition of a basement fire escape. Once completed, Deakin's Yard will provide 273 student flats, which are expected to be ready in time for the new academic year in September.

Work on the project began in 2017 but ground to a halt after the original developer ran out of money, the half-completed building remained an eyesore for several years. Previous attempts to restart the work have stalled due to protracted disputes with investors - many of whom had sunk their life savings into the scheme.

In an update posted on its website last month, Integritas said Deakin's Yard was proceeding on schedule, with the building 'increasingly resembling the finished article'. Integritas says that work is now taking place seven days a week, with up to 80 builders working on-site each day.