Is student rental gold rush petering out?

AFS Team·20 December 2011·3 min read
Is student rental gold rush petering out?
Desperate developers cashing in on student rental gold are flooding town halls with planning applications. Meanwhile, banks have lost their appetite for funding big student projects, according to a report from property consultants EC Harris. The study suggests a cut in public spending has significantly reduced the available for student accommodation. However, developers are still besieging planners with projects. In Leicester, residents are complaining they live on a campus as one developer has submitted plans to knock down business premises to build a 11-bed block to house de Montfort University students. The developer, Cranford Estates, has put another of plans in for the neighbouring area. In Peterborough, councillors are considering proposals to convert the former town hall in to homes for students. Councillors want to sell the Victorian building to fund services that face budget cuts. They want to build around the council chamber and mayor’s parlour but move administration staff to a cheaper, purpose-built office. However, Peterborough University is not keen on the plan - a spokesman explained that student housing needs were already covered for several years. Oxford Brookes University has upset the neighbours of an old builder’s merchant yard with plans to break out of the existing campus to build an amphitheatre, four-storey student flats and a gym at the bottom of their gardens. The residents claim the development would be too close to their homes and overshadow the existing two-storey terraced houses. Students are split in Cambridge over plans to pull down a night club to build 12 student apartments. The Moroccan-styled Fez Club, in Sidney Street, is a popular live music venue with students. Luke Delderfield, of Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union, said: "We are disappointed to learn club goers will be losing a Cambridge institution.” A planning inquiry in poole has heard that a development of 378 homes and 450 student flats on heath and farmland bordering Bournemouth and Poole could increase traffic on an already congested major route in to the towns by 7.5 per cent. Environmental groups are protesting against the scheme, which Pool councillors have already approved.