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Is PBSA swamping local communities in the Midlands?

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Across the Midlands, there are thousands of PBSA flats in the pipeline or already undergoing construction. In cities such as Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, and Nottingham, which have large student populations, the abundance of emerging PBSA is beginning to cause tension between accommodation providers and local communities, as residents argue the tower blocks are ‘swamping’ their neighbourhoods.

Groups such as Community Partnership for Selly Oak in Birmingham and Nottingham Civil Society have already opposed planning applications for PBSA.

The developments in the pipeline aim to address the current gap between supply and demand in the student market. Student numbers are estimated to increase by 2.8% year on year due to a population surge in eighteen-year-olds. These students will need housing as they enter university.

Birmingham City Council estimates that there will be a shortfall of nearly 15,000 student beds by 2025, which they argue would constitute a student housing crisis in the city. 

Nottingham City Council is now trying to ensure the provision of student beds while appeasing local residents by setting up the Student Living Strategy, a collaborative scheme that works closely with the two universities in the cities. StuRents reports that supply is now matching demand in the city, suggesting that, although it is early days, positive change is beginning to take place. 

Read the full article at ITV.


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