New test for student homes

Let signs at Rosedale Road
Let signs at Rosedale Road

Sheffield is to draw up a strategy to try to steer the future of student accommodation in the city.

Despite a big increase in the student population in recent years, the council says demand continues to grow, especially among international students and those looking for better quality accommodation. Both city universities “retain ambitious plans for growth”.

Yet some existing blocks of student flats are not full, and there is a risk that some of the older developments may fall empty if more flats are built.

At the same time, the trend for student living in the city centre has meant that private landlords are struggling to find tenants in some areas.

Meanwhile, there can still be an uneasy relationship between students and their neighbours, such as over noise and the leaving out of bins, in some parts of Sheffield.

A five-year strategy aims to address these issues - and others - through the council, universities, student unions, developers and landlords working together.

It is hoped a more proactive approach can influence future growth, trying to guide developers to areas where the council believes student homes are appropriate, and encouraging private landlords to meet demand by improving the standard of their accommodation.

Developers of student accommodation continue to target Sheffield. On the books at the moment is a proposed complex of 450 student flats next to Hyde Park flats, despite warnings from Hallam University that Sheffield is becoming saturated with student accommodation.

Although one of the spin-offs from the purpose-built student accommodation that has already been built has been the freeing up of private, especially terraced, houses, there are still complaints from communities such as in Broomhill, Crookes and the Ecclesall Road area about the impact of transient populations.