Student Housing

Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 9th February 2005.

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Photo of Lynne Jones Lynne Jones Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak 11:30 am, 9th February 2005

What problems he has identified in communities where a large proportion of residential property is occupied by students.

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) (Regeneration and Regional Developement)

The Government are funding a study to look at the impact on local communities of an expanding student population resident in the area. It will report this spring.

Photo of Lynne Jones Lynne Jones Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

Students bring vitality to an area and attract new business, but I am glad that the Government are beginning to recognise the difficulties that arise from a transient population. Will my hon. Friend introduce planning measures such as those being implemented in Northern Ireland to control the density of houses in multiple occupation, especially small HMOs, which are the norm in Selly Oak, and ensure that those areas get their share of neighbourhood renewal and other funding to recognise their special needs, which are not included in the normal indices of deprivation?

Photo of Yvette Cooper Yvette Cooper Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) (Regeneration and Regional Developement)

My hon. Friend is right that there can be pressures in areas with high student populations. We recognise that. She will also know that it is difficult to address the problem through national planning rules because the pressures that arise are often local. She may be interested to look at the work being done in Leeds, which is attempting to find ways to address concerns about these issues. We will be watching its progress.