Nottingham Student Living Strategy
Nottingham City Council, in partnership with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University have published a ‘Student Living Strategy‘.
The consultation on the strategy will run until Friday 24th March 2023.
The biggest take away from the report is that NCC is very clearly committed to the growth of purpose built student accommodation (PBSA), with 10,000 additional bed spaces in the pipe line.
The aim of the partnership is to:
“Work together to make Nottingham a great city to live, learn and grow in, where diverse, sustainable communities support the health, wellbeing and potential of all residents, and individuals are treated with equity, giving, and receiving mutual respect for the benefit of all.”
The report highlights the combined £3.8billion added to the UK economy by the two universities, which accounts for 14% of the local economy and supports 25,000 jobs across the area.
The partners share the following priorities:
Priority 1: Diversify and innovate to improve the quality, safety, affordability and location of available accommodation for all students across the city. Actively promote a growth in affordable alternative accommodation options to encourage a better balance of student housing choice across the city.
Priority 2: Encourage neighbourliness, where students contribute to creating a clean, attractive and sustainable environment which supports the wellbeing of the entire community. Proactively tackle the social and financial impact of waste and noise issues.
Priority 3: Ensure students are valued members of the communities they reside in and proactively work to improve graduate retention by developing and promoting opportunities to increase community cohesion and mutual benefit for all citizens.
Availability and Affordability
Student numbers in Nottingham have grown from approximately 40,000 to over 50,000 in the last six years.
Nottingham City Council’s policy has been to encourage purpose built student accommodation, which they claim is “more environmentally friendly, can reduce anti-social behaviour and act as a catalyst for other developments, creating jobs.”
To support this policy, NCC brought in an Article 4 Direction in 2012 which essentially prevents property owners changing a property from being occupied by a family (C3), to being occupied by unrelated people such as students (C4). This regulation, whilst frustrating those willing to develop properties in the city to meet the needs of students, has bolstered the value of properties which already had C4 use when the policy was introduced.
Often, the motivations for these policies is to maintain and increase the supply of rental properties for families as local authorities come under increasing pressure to grow their housing stock.
PBSA properties are often significantly more expensive than privately rented HMO properties, which is acknowledged in the report in addition to the commentary that the Government’s Rental Reform Proposals will likely increase rents in HMOs which could narrow the gap.
NCC also introduced one of the widest licensing schemes in the UK, covering more than 24,000 rental properties in an effort to maintain safety and quality standards.
“…work has been underway to significantly grow the availability of PBSA bed spaces although growth over the past five years has not kept pace with the increase in student numbers, and a substantial shortfall has been created. There are however, over 10,000 new PBSA bed spaces currently in the pipeline– Nottingham’s scale of growth is second only to London.”
The partners whish to “encourage neighbourliness, where students contribute to creating a clean, attractive and sustainable environment which supports the wellbeing of the entire community. Proactively tackle the social and financial impact of waste and noise issues.”
Approximately one in 10 households in the city are HMOs and or occupied by students.
The report advises that most students “are considerate neighbours who live cohesively within shared communities. However, as with all communities, a small proportion have a negative impact on those around them.”
Valued Members of the Community
The priority here is to “Ensure students are valued members of the
communities they reside in and proactively work to improve graduate retention by developing and promoting opportunities to increase community cohesion and mutual benefit for all citizens.”.
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