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Developers in Nottingham Asked to Contribute to Affordable Housing

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

New proposals being put forward by the Nottingham's city council could see developers of new student accommodation having to pay a contribution towards new affordable housing.

The council says it is receiving unprecedented numbers of planning applications to build purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). This is reflected in StuRents' data, which indicates the city now has one of the largest supply pipelines in the country.

Whilst more than 1,400 beds were added to the market in 2019-20, according to the council this has only just kept up with demand. In previous years demand has increased faster than supply creating a shortfall, which private developers have been looking to address.

The council says more PBSA is needed to meet the growing demand for accommodation, whilst helping to free up traditional shared housing for families.

The council's proposals seek to help with the balance of housing types by using Section 106 agreements to require developers to make a financial contribution towards more affordable housing in the city.

The current Local Plan requires that 10% of new residential developments of between 10-14 homes be for affordable housing and 20% for those projects containing 15 homes of more.

The new Supplementary Planning Document calls for student schemes to also meet this requirement by providing a mechanism to secure funding for affordable housing contributions.

Councillor Linda Woodings, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage, said: "Our two universities are vital for the city's economy in terms of both the investment they bring and the jobs they support and create, as well as helping to teach and train our future doctors, nurses, scientists and teachers."

"We understand that there's a perception that ther'’s too much student accommodation in the city, but actually, we are only just keeping pace with demand. Vacancy rates in new student flats have remained consistently below 2% for the past six years, with no signs of that changing as student numbers continue to rise."