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Newcastle to Tighten Student Accommodation Policy

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Newcastle City Council is looking to tighten regulations by introducing new planning guidance for the construction of purpose-built student accommodation in residential areas.

In addition, a new policy is being proposed which would apply to all housing development within the city centre.

The policy aims to assess developments against a number of criteria including the areas vibrancy, environmental quality and residential amenity. It will also look to prevent over-concentration and developments will need to show they can be flexible enough to adapt to future uses.

Cabinet member for investment and development, Ged Bell, said: "Many have commented that there is too much student accommodation in the city centre, but we need to consider this alongside the significant increase in student numbers, as well as the changing needs of students for purpose built accommodation."

"Our existing policy has been really successful in helping us restrict changes to and bring back existing housing in neighbourhoods for families, however there is more we can do."

The council said the new policy acknowledges the increase in demand for student housing, with the number of full time students in Newcastle growing by 68% to 42,565 between 2000 and 2014.

The proposed regulation is now subject to a six-week consultation. Once complete the council will consider any feedback and amend the draft prior to asking the cabinet to adopt the new guidance. If the policy comes into force, it's expected to be adopted in Spring 2017.