Council Response to Student Housing Letter

In January we published our letter to Cllr Welsh, the Cabinet Member responsible for housing. The Coventry Society complained about the uncontrolled growth of high-rise student housing blocks in the city in the context of the Coronavirus epidemic and Brexit and the lack of any proper forecasts of the need for student accommodation. Below is the response from Cllr Welsh:

Many thanks for your letter regarding the development of student accommodation in the City. It was good to meet you and your fellow members prior to Christmas and I look forward to working with you in the future.

As you note in your letter, data regarding the supply and demand of student accommodation was produced as part of the Local Plan process. The Local Plan was adopted in 2017 following a robust and independent public Examination. Any amendments to the Plan need to be evidence-based and need to be consulted upon and
brought forward through the appropriate regulatory process.

The Local Plan will be undergoing a review, as per the government guidance, by December 2022 and the evidence base will be refreshed as part of that process. This will include a comprehensive review of our Local Housing Need as well as considering the efficacy of other policies, and I am sure that you and your members will be actively involved in the process. This work will also consider the requirement and provision of
student accommodation in the city. It would not be appropriate to introduce a moratorium on a specific form of development pre-emptively, before evidence can be refreshed or analysed.

Your points regarding the future usability of buildings, either through design or construction, are important and I have instructed officers to ensure that these are considered in future research and drafting of policies. As you may be aware imposing any requirements that surpass current local and national standards would need to be made in a strategic document of Local Plan stature, and cannot come forward through Supplementary Planning Documents. The Plan Review is, therefore, the best way of considering and taking this forward.

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to stress the benefits that the University and its students bring to the City, both in terms of economic and intellectual capital. Many students do stay in the cities they study in, and we need to ensure that there are attractive and clear pathways to do so, benefitting the current and future residents of the City.

Once again, many thanks for your active and valued contributions, and I look forward to meeting members again soon.

Yours sincerely
Councillor David Welsh
Cabinet Member for Housing & Communities

One thought on “Council Response to Student Housing Letter

  1. So why if the local plan, is being looked at again before Dec 2022, has work started in Eastern Green ? Criminal.
    Since 2017 Brexit has happened and Covid 19 . These two events alone mean that the enquiry needs brought forward.Let alone the spurious migration population figures .Coventry is not growing faster than anywhere else.
    This Labour Party wouldn’t even be in power if the Covid hadn’t effected local elections.So for a caretaker council, to make such wide ranging changes, to land that should never have lost its greenbelt status, is frankly ridiculous.
    You have just railroaded it through against the local populice
    A new junction from the A45 will cause carnage as it’s used for a rat run to South Warwickshire.It will be quicker than going the A45/A46 route.The local roads are all ready at capacity.As are the Doctors,Schools etc.
    A premium was paid to live near the fields.It won’t be Eastern Green anymore.Eastern Brick more like.Years of development work around narrow lanes designed for agricultural traffic.
    Are this Council blind to the fact offices are redundant due to the pandemic.People are working from home for the foreseeable future.There is talk of annual vaccine so it’s here to stay.So here is more brownfield sites that will be empty and ready for either change of use or demolished.
    I think this Council is behind the times.Times have changed significantly since 2017.The need for recreational activity like walking or running and cycling in the countryside has increased greatly during lockdown.
    You need to stop work immediately on these hair brained schemes.Council Tax isn’t the only way to raise money.


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