As we blogged on 25th March, the Government has just published its reaction to the responses on the recent consultation on i) speeding up s.106 negotiations and ii) student accommodation and affordable housing.
In our response, we suggested that NPPG be amended to make specific reference to the need for student accommodation:
"Rather than addressing the question on a site by site basis, LPAs should take account of the need for student accommodation when assessing objectively assessed need. Students are not mentioned in paragraph 159 of the Framework. However, this could be addressed by an amendment to the Guidance."
I am sure they were going to do it anyway - but we were pleased to see that CLG have taken up the suggestion. Here is the text from NPPG as amended this morning:
Local planning authorities should plan for sufficient student accommodation whether it consists of communal halls of residence or self-contained dwellings, and whether or not it is on campus. Student housing provided by private landlords is often a lower-cost form of housing. Encouraging more dedicated student accommodation may provide low cost housing that takes pressure off the private rented sector and increases the overall housing stock. Plan makers are encouraged to consider options which would support both the needs of the student population as well as local residents before imposing caps or restrictions on students living outside of university-provided accommodation. Plan makers should engage with universities and other higher educational establishments to better understand their student accommodation requirements