National HMO Lobby


National HMO

What is a HMO?
Local HMO Plans
Ten Point Plan


Leeds HMO Lobby

National Developments
Sustainable Communities
Use Classes Order
HMO Licensing
Taxation of HMOs
Students & Community

National HMO Lobby



Student Accommodation

The following are the notes for a presentation by Professor Shirley Pearce, Vice Chancellor of Loughborough University, at a meeting of the Parliamentary University Group on 15 November 2006 in the House of Lords.

Some background on Loughborough University
§ Educational Institution in Loughborough since 1909
§ 1957 – College of Advanced Technology
§ 1966 – University status granted – 1,850 students
§ 2005/06 – 14,805 total student population

Loughborough University
§ Reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and sporting achievement
§ Ranked 6th in 2006 Times University league tables
§ Awarded 5 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes
§ Located in very heart of the UK in the East Midlands – Borough of Charnwood (Loughborough has a population of 57,500, with Loughborough based students around 20% of this total)

Why is the location of student accommodation sometimes controversial?
§ Rapid growth in student numbers (current 50% target)
§ No proportional growth in student accommodation due to funding and space constraints
§ Demand for accommodation largely picked up by private sector – landlords/developers
§ Market forces – communities close to Universities very popular for buy to let
§ Resultant areas of high student density (studentification)

The extent of ‘studentification’
§ UUK commissioned report in partnership with SCOP and in association with DfES and ODPM. Published in Jan 06 it stated:
§ “It is incontrovertible that the negative effects of ‘studentification’ are evident in several towns and cities across the UK”
§ “2/3rd of HEI’s stated that local community groups had voiced concerns to them about the impact of students in their area”

What are these negative effects?
§ Loss of balanced communities
§ Exclusion of first time buyers
§ Loss of family housing risk to local schools
§ Proliferation of letting signs

More negative effects:
§ Congestion and parking problems during term time
§ Poor standards of property maintenance and repair
§ Proliferation of fly posters
§ Distorted retail market – pubs, takeaways

More negative effects:
§ Accumulations of waste and rubbish
§ Incidents of anti-social behaviour, particularly
Increased levels of crime (students as targets)

What can Universities do? We have established:
§ Community Relations Officer
§ Community Wardens
§ Security Patrols off Campus
§ 24hr access to security
§ Regular meetings with residents associations
§ Disciplinary procedures
Build more accommodation

We work with the Students’ Union to deliver:
§ Students’ Union led campaigns (SShh!)
§ Community awards
§ Community Action
§ Community Students Association
§ Engage residents as student friends and mentors

Where can we go from here?
§ We will continue to work with residents,
but could more be done to support community cohesion by:
§ The landlords?
§ The developers?
§ Local government?
§ National government?

Responding – the work of local authorities
§ Some local policies covering student housing have been developed e.g. Loughborough and Leeds
§ Encouraged purpose built accommodation for development sites
§ Utilising powers provided under the Housing Act 2004 to control standards (appearance not numbers)
§ Powers limited within existing planning legislation

Could planning do more?
§ To promote balanced communities we need some way to control property use and development in areas of high student density
§ Use Class Order§Permitted Development
§ Development Plan Documents/Supplementary Planning Documents

Use Class Order (UCO)
§ For planning purposes properties are defined by their UCO
§ Currently Class C3 does not distinguish between a family house and a student let (occupied by up to six people)
§ Planning permission is not required where a small family house is purchased by a landlord and subsequently rented out to up to six students
§ Could the UCO be amended to give local authorities the ability to control density?

Permitted development
§ Many extensions benefit from deemed consent
§ Subject to certain limitations planning permission not required for extensions to dwellings measuring 50 cubic metres in respect of terraced properties
§ No ability to control density
§ Should permitted development be influenced by density?

A role for local authorities?
§ Broad planning policies such as an SPD could provide the context within which planning applications could be judged
§ Loughborough SPD: Works on a threshold approach. If a planning application (6+ students) is made for an area where there is already 20%+ of student accommodation it will be turned down or conditions applied (e.g no student occupancy)
§ Could planning policies be encouraged to address density where relevant?

A role for National Government?
§ Consider changes to planning legislation that will allow consideration of density
§ It has been done in Northern Ireland!
§ Is supported by Charnwood Borough Council

§ Limiting student numbers will not be the answer
§ Vital role of Universities in prosperity and well being

Managing student accommodation – last thoughts
§ It’s not about discriminating against students or landlords!
§ It is about community cohesion – retaining balanced and harmonious communities which can thrive together
§ It is about collaboration between National Government, Local Government, Universities (and students), landlords and communities


National HMO Lobby
email: website: