Luton residents are worried that they could be crowded out of the housing market if student developments overtake residential ones.
So far, Luton Borough Council has approved the development of 1106 student rooms across various sites in the town centre, and this could rise by an additional 28 if councillors push forward plans to convert an office block into student flats.
Richard Yusuf, from Taylors Estate Agents, said that 'Over the last three years the provision (of accommodation) has been balanced because there was as much private housing as there was student. But this increase in demand is going to be a bit of an issue because it will put the prices up as more people from London want to live in Luton.... If the council continues to approve so many student flats and not any residential then people will struggle.'
David Westcott, from the Property Shop, described student housing as a 'very lucrative business' for developers who could 'take a shoebox, pack in all the things you need and then rent it out for £500-600 a week.' He added however that 'for the local housing need', such developments are simply 'absorbing space that could be put to better use.'
A spokeswoman from the University of Bedfordshire said that the university are 'strongly recommending' that students choose university approved accommodation instead, so that students are less inclined to live in houses previously designed for locals.