Student housing must be controlled
How disappointing it was to read a letter from Adam Reynolds, (Chronicle, September 6), responding to my direction in the preparation of the consultation to the Local Plan regarding student accommodation. I have made it clear in my cabinet role that the uncontrolled expansion of student accommodation into the city whether as an ‘HMO or ‘purpose built student accommodation’ (PBSA) has to be controlled and the universities have to take their own smoke and build on campus. I want to commend both universities for the way they are discussing this situation which had been allowed to get out of control by previous council administrations. These issues are getting resolved by the firm action I’m taking by indicating to developers that generally PBSA will not be acceptable in the immediate city centre as those sites are needed for housing and particularly affordable housing and just as importantly prime offices on the Quays site. Mr Reynolds clearly does not appreciate that it is already part of the current core strategy that was approved by his Liberal Democrat colleagues that there should be grade A offices on the sites he referred to in the city centre and NOT student accommodation. Can I assume that party has now changed its position? Finally to put the record straight we are not just building luxury flats having recently received funding to build ‘affordable’ as part of Bath’s development. It is a great shame that Mr Reynolds wants all the student accommodation growth to go unchecked in the city at the expense of our residents.
Cabinet member for development and neighbourhood