As many begin to question the number of student accommodation developments getting the green light this year, Shropshire Council are looking to keep growth in Shrewsbury sustainable.
Following the opening of University Centre Shrewsbury the council set up a special group to monitor student house numbers. This week they have recommended the creation of a database of HMOs in the city, which will allow them to monitor accommodation provision, as well as to monitor its current provision should complaints arise about planned developments.
The council have also brought in consultants to determine whether the council could impose an 'article four direction'. Such action would make it compulsory for anyone looking to set up an HMO to get planning permission for it, effectively allowing the council to manually restain the growth of HMOs in the city.
Councillor Dean Carroll however said that an enforced article four direction would not stand up to a legal challenge. His colleague Mal Price backed up his sentiments saying, "If we put an article four direction on the town centre without any valid reason then we can be legally challenged. That has been made quite clear to us." He instead urged residents to focus on the positives, "Do we want a university in Shropshire? Everyone I speak to says 'yes'. That is the first positive. Do we want to deal with any potential problems in future? Yes we do, that's why we set up the task and finish group which has gone away and done everything we said it would."