Student accommodation provider Unite is to resubmit plans for a £30 million development in Selly Oak within the next few days.

UK property director Tim Mitchell said new proposals for the joint project with Cala Homes would be submitted to planners "imminently".

The scheme, at the former bus depot on Elliott Road, was rejected by the council last year on grounds that it would be "to the detriment of the character and appearance of the area".

But Mr Mitchell, who was visiting Unite's properties in Birmingham, said he was confident the new proposals for the 330-bed student accommodation would satisfy the council.

He said: "It has been a challenging site, but we have had a hugely enjoyable planning process and worked very closely with the city council's planning team.

"The key problem has been getting the right urban design in what is a difficult site to develop."

Mr Mitchell said he now hoped the development, if approved, would be constructed in time for the 2009 academic intake.

Unite currently houses about 1,200 students in Birmingham at The Heights in Staniforth Street and Londonderry House, Newton Street.

It is also developing a 748-bed complex at the former Castle Cement works in Eastside.

Mr Mitchell said plans now were to focus on opportunities in Selly Oak.

He said: "After the Eastside development we would feel that capacity is full in the city centre, but there is still potential in Selly Oak to draw some students away from the local residential accommodation.

"Not all students are going to want the managed accommodation that we offer, but we still believe the market in that area is under served."

Students would pay around £87 a week for a standard room and utility bills in Unite's city centre developments. Renting a room in shared housing in Selly Oak currently cost between £45 and £65 a week excluding bills.

Mr Mitchell was visiting The Height development as part of Unite's "Big Blue Bus" tour, where the management team visits its sites to assess their progress.

Mr Mitchell admitted that the Aston development previously suffered security issues, including trouble from local gangs. But he added that the situation had improved significantly after the group increased CCTV coverage and employed round-the-clock security.

He added: "The nature of many of the places that we develop is that we are part of the regeneration. We bring hundreds of new eyes and ears to an area that, by default, makes it a safer place to live."

In May, Unite confirmed it intention to double the size of its business over the next five years and increase net rent from its student accommodation portfolio.

From 2008 to 2010 it expects to deliver 31 projects with a total of 10,256 beds.

At its year-end results in March, the company revealed that profit before tax was up almost 48 per cent to £58.6 million, compared to £28.1 million in 2005.