Labour Councillor for Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ward, Cllr Dan Yates, on controlling the density of HMOs:
At the moment the new academic year means that students are arriving for their new year at one of our great universities. Hundreds of future engineers, scientists, doctors, lawyers and many other critical future professionals choose Brighton and Hove to study and often to remain and build their lives.
Universities across the city directly create 6000 jobs with many more delivered to support those students living within our communities. That’s worth hundreds of millions of pounds to the city’s economy supporting local businesses and jobs.
However, many communities across the city, and especially those close to the Lewes Road know the negative issues that such a concentration of student living can create sometimes.
Already this week complaints of noise, disturbance, antisocial behavior and rubbish have started to rear their head as local housing estates find new students moving into former family homes that are now operating at houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).
HMOs and purpose-built student housing are critical to ensure that the universities and their students continue to contribute so richly to the city but balance with the needs and the impacts on established communities is critical.
That’s why the City plan part two, which is due to be adopted by the full council in October after many years development will start to bring in some of the strongest measures to control the development of HMOs and to balance out the impacts.
Controlling the density of HMOs in communities through stronger planning controls and clearer plans for purpose-built accommodation will play an important part in protecting critical community infrastructure such as health facilities and schools which in some communities are already closing or being threatened with significant cuts.
It won’t solve every problem HMO nor will it replace every lost night’s sleep but it can work to rebalance our communities and establish stronger communities that longer term residents and students alike can be proud of.
Cllr Daniel Yates
Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ward
Image: Creative Commons