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Oxford Propose Strict Student Housing Rules

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Planning officers in Oxford are looking to crack down on what they call "speculative" student housing.

Oxford City Council's proposals are being put forward after residents complained that private companies were offering to buy local properties to then offer them to students.

The authorities have proposed tough rules that would require all new student accommodation to be linked to Oxford University and Oxford Brooks University.

Commenting on the proposals, city council planning boss Alex Hollingsworth, said: "Speculative student housing is having a lot of money thrown at it right now.

"It is seen as a very lucrative market and there is a bit of a bubble right now, but we want to restrict it.

"We will encourage student housing that is associated with our two universities, to take the pressure off general housing, but will discourage accommodation from other providers."

The proposals have been included within the latest Local Plan, which provides a blueprint for developments in the city. The draft document was published last week and argues there is already a "significant amount" of purpose-built student accommodation occupied by those attending institutions other than universities.

It was suggested these developments compromise the ability of the universities to house their own students, whilst increasing competition in the wider housing market.

Although Oxford University and its colleges have brought forward several student accommodation schemes on their own sites, Oxford Brookes has indicated it must work with private providers as it doesn't own much land itself.

The Local Plan is due to go through a period of consultation this summer.