Leeds HMO Lobby


Leeds HMO Lobby

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Leeds HMO Lobby



Proposed SHAP2
(Student Housing Action Plan, Second Revised Version)

1 Aims The Student Housing Action Plan (SHAP) has a clear purpose.
1.1 The aim of SHAP is to ensure that the development of shared housing (HMOs) in Leeds is supportive of sustainability, in accordance with Leeds City Council’s policies on sustainability (Corporate Plan, Vision for Leeds), and in the interests of all concerned, students and universities, Council and communities. In essence, this means the pursuit of balance – both balance between HMOs and other housing in & around Headingley*, and also balance between Headingley and other areas of the city in the distribution of HMOs.
1.2 The objectives of SHAP target both the causes and the effects of imbalance, and they are specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and timescaled (SMART). The principal cause of imbalance is the demand for student housing in & around Headingley. (1) The first objective therefore is to reduce the proportion of students in Headingley Ward to 33% of the population by the next Census in 2011. (2) The second objective is to increase the proportion of students accommodated outside ASHORE to 33% of those not living at home, by the same date. (3) The third objective is to increase the sustainability of the Headingley area on an on-going basis. [The Lobby proposes that the indicators of sustainability identified by the Egan Review 2004 be adopted.]
1.3 The progress of SHAP towards these objectives is monitored annually, by means of feedback on the objectives (2 below) and evaluation of SHAP itself (3 and 4).

2 Developments The most recent data shows imbalance increasing, rather than decreasing.
2.1 For the Headingley area, the Development Department produced a map of Student Population 2000, and more recently, Main Student Areas 2002. Comparison of the two maps shows two things: (1) student penetration has increased in existing areas (for instance, the whole of the area between Woodhouse Moor and St Michael’s Lane is now saturated, rather than only parts), and (2) the student housing area has expanded (for instance, across North Lane and into Beckett Park, into Far Headingley, into Meanwood, through Burley as far as Kirkstall Lane, and across the river around Kirkstall Brewery).
2.2 More recent data on balance across the city is available from Leeds University’s Student Distribution Maps (2004) and these also show increasing imbalance. Figures for 2003 show three Community Areas with very high numbers of students (over 2,000: Headingley, Hyde Park and Burley Lodge), another seven with large numbers (up to 2,000), seven more with less than 500, thirteen with under 100, and the great majority with negligible numbers (under 50: 76 Areas). But figures for the following year, 2004, show that, on the one hand, numbers increased in the most heavily populated Areas, and on the other hand, the numbers of students in other Areas actually decreased.
2.3 The CIT Amenity Audit (2004) indicated the persistence of problems in & around Headingley. Issues recorded were of three main types, noise, visual amenity and antisocial behaviour. The Audit concluded “The audit responses clearly indicate that a number of local residents have suffered as a result of the poor behaviour from some students, and the lack of responsibility shown by landlords also adds to the area’s problems” (4.1). What is lacking is any longitudinal study: but a monitoring project of letting boards by South Headingley Community Association shows an increase of a fifth from 2001 to 2004.

3 Actions An assessment of the present SHAP indicates a range of strengths and weaknesses. Most of the action-points are either on-going, or have been completed but need to be sustained: these need to be carried forward. Some action-points have been completed, and need no further action. Others have been overtaken by events. A few now seem marginal to SHAP as it is developing.

4 Plan Many significant changes have taken place since 2002 in relation to HMOs in general and to student housing in particular.
4.1 Several relevant developments have taken place nationally in the last few years. The Housing Act 2004 has been passed, providing for both mandatory and additional HMO licensing. The Use Class Order has been amended, but without reference to HMOs (unlike Northern Ireland). The government has commissioned a report on Students & Community. Major developers (like UNITE) have take an interest in the student housing market (see UNITE’s Student Experience Reports). Initiatives have taken place throughout the UK, and have been shared, especially at the Unipol conference Students, Housing & Community, and also through the new National HMO Lobby. Meanwhile, the Planning Act 2004 and the Licensing Act 2003 are coming into effect.
4.2 Many changes in the local context have arisen directly or indirectly from SHAP itself. The most significant is the Area of Student Housing Restraint (ASHORE) proposed in the Leeds UDP Review. Within the Council, the local CIT has established CHEF, initiated what is now Headingley Renaissance, and appointed a Community Planning Officer (these are now under the auspices of the Inner NW Area Committee). Otherwise, the Council has introduced Headingley Streetscene, a Cumulative Impact Policy for alcohol licensing, the Noise Nuisance service, parking schemes, poster drums, and has applied to government for control of letting boards. The Council’s Code of Standards for landlords has been succeeded by Leeds Landlords Accreditation Scheme and the Accredited Tenant Scheme, and Unipol has also revised its Code of Standards. Leeds University has published a Housing Strategy, appointed a Community Project Officer and maintained a Neighbourhood Helpline (and is revising its Community Strategy). Leeds HMO Lobby publishes a quarterly newsletter, Headway. Meanwhile, national developers have entered the student housing market, with several purpose-built developments (including the de facto developing ‘Little Woodhouse Student Village’).
4.3 In response to such developments, new actions have been proposed by Leeds HMO Lobby, including a Community Code, a map for Students in the City, Leeds Left Bank, Kept in the Community, and proposals for Diversity Zones, Additional HMO Licensing and a local HMO Officer.

*Unless otherwise indicated, ‘Headingley’ or the phrase ‘in & around Headingley’ refers to the communities of Central, South and Far Headingley and the neighbouring communities of Woodhouse, Hyde Park, Little Woodhouse, Burley Lodge, Burley, Kirkstall and West Park.

Student Housing Action Plan (revised)

O1 To reduce the proportion of students in Headingley Ward to 33% of the population by the Census in 2011.
O2 To increase the proportion of students accommodated outside ASHORE to 33% of those not living at home, by the same date.
O3 To increase the sustainability of the Headingley area on an on-going basis. [The Lobby proposes that the indicators of sustainability identified by the Egan Review 2004 be adopted.]

A Strategic Actions
A1 Develop, and review, a Student Housing Strategy for each HEI, supporting the aims of SHAP (LMU, UL)
A2 Monitor developments elsewhere (through Yorks & Humber HMO Group, Smith Report, National HMO Lobby, etc) to inform SHAP (LCC: SHC)
A3 Conduct an Annual Review of SHAP, based on (a) monitoring of developments [see A1, A2 above, B5, C4, D4, E7 below], and (b) SWOT analysis of SHAP (LCC: SHPG)
A4 Nominate (or appoint) a Student Housing Co-ordinator, with dedicated hours, to co-ordinate implementation of SHAP, in liaison with other designated officers [see B4, C2a, E3b below] (LCC)

B Restraint within ASHORE

B1 Carry forward ASHORE from Leeds UDP Review to Local Development Framework, with revisions to Area boundaries and to Policy H15 (LCC: DD)
B2 Apply to ODPM for additional licensing of HMOs within ASHORE (LCC: CHO)
B3 Maintain a programme of proactive enforcement (i) to address substandard accommodation, and (ii) against landlords who make alterations without obtaining permission (LCC: DD)
B4 Appoint dedicated local officers:
a Community Planning Officer (continuation) (LCC: AC)
b Community Housing Officer (LCC: AC)
B5 Monitor development of ASHORE policy through:
a annual report on implementation of ASHORE (LCC: CPO)
b annual report on student numbers in ASHORE (LCC, LMU, UL)
c annual report on implementation of HMO licensing (LCC: CHO)

C Reorientation outwith ASHORE
C1 Carry forward Policy H15A of Leeds UDP Review to LDF (LCC: DD)
C2 Develop student housing outside ASHORE:
a nominate planning officer with watching brief on development of student housing in city (LCC: DD)
b identify localities across the city for developments, including conversion of Council properties (LCC: DD)
c review student housing policy in Leeds Housing Strategy (LCC: NH)
C3 Promote guidance to student housing outwith ASHORE:
a publish guide Leeds: a city for students (LCC, LMU, UL)
b review housing guidance to students (USH)
c conduct route review of bus services (especially service 96) (WYPTE)
C4 Monitor distribution of student housing throughout Leeds:
a annual report on housing developments outwith ASHORE (LCC: DD)
b annual report on student numbers throughout Leeds (LMU, UL)

D Rediversification within ASHORE
D1 Develop ‘fine-grain’ development policy within ASHORE, including Design Statements, and Diversity Zones, carried forward as an Area Action Plan into LDF (LCC: CPO)
D2 Develop affordable housing policy for Headingley in Leeds Housing Strategy (LCC: NH)
D3 Promote affordable housing in & around Headingley:
a Special Purpose Vehicle to acquire, convert, let/lease HMOs, as affordable housing (LCC: NH)
b establish Community Land Trust for the same purpose (LCC: AC)
D4 Monitor housing developments in & around Headingley through annual housing report (LCC: CHO)

E General Effects on the Community

E1 Promote Community Code in & around Headingley (LCC: AC, LMU, LMUSU, LUU, UL, USH, LPA)
E2 Develop frameworks to promote liaison between students and community (LHMOL, LMUSU, LUU):
a review provision of information to students about community issues & organisations
b review frameworks for student engagement in the community
E3 Develop HE contribution to community sustainability (LMU, UL), including:
a develop Community Strategies
b develop HEI Community Liaison Team, including Leeds University’s Community Project Officer and Neighbourhood Helpline
c promote HE community liaison
E4 Develop private rented sector contribution to community sustainability, including the Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme, the Tenant Accreditation Scheme, and Unipol’s Code of Standards (LCC: NH, USH)
E5 Review efficacy of community dialogue in & around Headingley, including (i) meetings (CHEF), and (ii) media (eg Headway newsletter) (LCC: AC, LHMOL)
E6 Promote developments supporting sustainability in & around Headingley, including:
a the Leeds Left Bank strategy (LCC: AC)
b a Community Development Trust (acquiring community assets) (LCC: AC)
E7 Monitor community impacts in & around Headingley in an annual Sustainability Assessment:
a key messages from CHEF to SHPG (LCC: AC)
b annual HE liaison report, including Neighbourhood Helpline report (LMU, UL)
c annual student action reports (LMUSU, LUU)
d monitoring of social, environmental & economic impacts [see F5, G4, H3 below]

F Social Effects
F1 Review visibility of universities’ disciplinary procedures (LMU, UL)
F2 Promote community safety in & around Headingley
a promote community safety awareness among students (LMU, UL, WYP)
b establish police base in Headingley (WYP)
F3 Review planning conditions to minimise environmental noise (LCC: DD)
F4 Co-ordinate agencies concerned with noise nuisance, and address particular practices:
a review cab-alerts [phones, not horns] (LCC)
b review house alarm procedures (LCC: NH)
F5 Monitor social impacts in & around Headingley:
a annual report on crime and antisocial behaviour (WYP)
b annual report on noise nuisance (LCC: NH)

G Environmental Effects
G1 Review planning conditions in & around Headingley, including (i) minimising environmental impact, (ii) relating to litter arising from retail outlets, (iii) resisting applications for Letting Boards (if submission to ODPM is successful) (LCC: DD)
G2 Review cleansing practices in & around Headingley:
a implementation of Streetscene (LCC)
b develop an Environmental Call-Centre (LCC)
c schemes for Student Clear-Ups at the end of term (LMUSU, LUU)
G3 Review curtilage maintenance in & around Headingley:
a develop Man with Van scheme (LPA)
b develop garden maintenance initiatives (competition) (USH)
G4 Introduce parking permit schemes throughout the ‘core’ areas of ASHORE (LCC: AC)
G5 Monitor environmental impacts in & around Headingley:
a annual Streetscene report (LCC: AC)
b annual garden survey (USH)
c annual report on Development Control & Compliance in ASHORE (LCC: CPO)

H Economic Effects
H1 Resist development of ‘resort economy’ in & around Headingley in LDF (LCC: DD)
H2 Implement Headingley Renaissance:
a incorporate Headingley Renaissance into planning, housing, transport, etc policy (LCC)
b promote Headingley Licensees’ Best Practice Guide (LCC: CHSG)
c review cab & public transport provision in central Headingley (LCC)
H3 Monitor economic impacts in & around Headingley:
a annual report on local economy (LCC:CPO)
b annual report on local Cumulative Impact Policy in Leeds Licensing Policy (LCC: CPO)

Key: AC = Area Committee, ASHORE = Area of Student Housing Restraint, CHEF = Community & HE Forum, CHO = Community Housing Officer, CIT = Community Involvement Team, CPO = Community Planning Officer, DD = Development Dept, HEI = Higher Education Institution, HMO = House in Multiple Occupation, LCC = Leeds City Council, LDF = Local Development Framework, LHMOL = Leeds HMO Lobby, LMU = Leeds Metropolitan University, LMUSU = Leeds Metropolitan University Students Union, LPA = Leeds Property Association, LUU = Leeds University Union, NH = Neighbourhoods & Housing, ODPM = Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, PRS = Private Rented Sector, SHAP = Student Housing Action Plan, SHC = Student Housing Co-ordinator, SHPG = Student Housing Project Group, SMART = Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Timescaled, SWOT = Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats, UDP = Unitary Development Plan, UL = University of Leeds, USH = Unipol Student Homes, WYP = West Yorkshire Police, WYPTE = West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro).

Leeds HMO Lobby
9 May 2005

On 20 April 2006, Leeds City Council's Shared Housing Group adopted a revised Shared Housing Action Plan (SHAP2) derived from the Lobby's proposal.


Leeds HMO Lobby
email: hmolobby@hotmail.com website: www.hmolobby.org.uk/leeds