Bath and North East Somerset Council is to consider additional measures to control the growth of student accommodation in Bath – according to a press release from the local Conservative Association.
As part of a review being carried out by the Conservative-run authority, the council is to look at what powers are available to limit the number of new student accommodation blocks in areas with high concentrations of student housing.
The issue was debated by councillors at a meeting of Bath and North East Somerset Council last Wednesday, 23rd March. During the debate, Conservative councillors tabled a successful amendment which commits the council to looking at:
whether existing controls on the numbers of HMOs in certain parts of the city should be extended more widely;
what the right limit should be on the proportion of HMOs in any given area; and
whether it is possible for additional measures to be put in place to limit the number of new student accommodation blocks in areas which already have a high density of student housing.
Conservative Councillor Bob Goodman (Combe Down), who is leading the Council’s review of student accommodation and HMOs in the city, said:
“The proliferation of new student accommodation in Bath has become an increasingly important issue for residents of the city, so it’s right that the Council should look at what can be done to better manage the growth and concentration of student accommodation and HMOs in Bath.
“Our universities contribute a huge amount to the city, and it’s important we support them in continuing to be successful. However, we must also ensure that we maintain balanced communities, with the right mix of student accommodation, HMOs and family homes.
“Not all HMOs are student housing, many are also occupied by graduates and workers, so it’s important we take this into account. The review we are undertaking will therefore look at how to ensure a high standard of accommodation for those who live in HMOs, as well the best way to manage the growth in HMO numbers and student accommodation more generally.”