An article published in the Saturday 19 August 2017 edition of the Nottingham Post, as well as on-line, has taken a look at student accommodation in Nottingham.

The text of the article is reproduced here, and the full article (including graphics) can be viewed on the Nottingham Post website:

One in 12 homes classed as student accommodation in Nottingham

"Nottingham would be a far poorer place without students."

The number of student homes in Nottingham has risen by a third in just six years - up to more than 11,000.

In 2010 there were 8,743 student properties in city - but this had risen to 11,645 by last year, and increase of 33 percent.

It means one in 12 homes in Nottingham are for student accommodation - but developers and business experts believe despite the rise, students "contribute" to the city.

The figures include student halls of residence, student-only houses, purpose build student accommodations, and flats.

Across the Broxtowe borough area there has been a 61 percent rise in the amount of student housing - from 519 in 2010 to 838 in 2016.

Councillor Steve Carr, who represents Beeston North for the Liberal Democrats, said: "Recently the University of Nottingham built the purpose-made student accommodation in Beeston - so that would explain the increase.

"It does bring problems, as the students are all in one area. Concerns have been raised from my constituents about noise and parked cars everywhere - but it's not as bad as it used to be."

Throughout the borough of Gedling the number of student properties has also risen - this time by 40 percent.

Despite a surge in new student accommodation developments around the city in recent years, the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce - which represents businesses in Nottingham - says students contribute a lot to the economy of the city.

Spokesman for the chamber Andy Hibberd said: "Students contribute £63m a year in and around the city. That's from rent and day-to-day costs to nightlife.

"But they also provide huge other benefits to the local community.

"The universities themselves also bring in such colossal amounts of revenue, which without them we wouldn't have a taste of.

"They bring in tourism, when it's freshers week parents come down and they need to stay somewhere. You have to look at the wider picture.

"Nottingham would be a far poorer place without students."

Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “Nottingham is a thriving city with two great universities that attract students from all over the world contributing over £1 billion to Nottingham’s economy each year.

"The increase in the number of student properties in the city, which is mainly down to the number of new purpose built student flats being created, not only meets demand but also allows current students to move into modern centrally located student housing, freeing up homes in neighbourhoods for local families to move into."

Dr Paul Greatrix, registrar at the University of Nottingham, said: "The University of Nottingham makes a huge contribution to the local economy year-on-year.

"Each student also brings an additional £10,933 in economic benefit to the city as well, not to mention the 14,000 jobs supported annually by the institution and its staff.

"It’s not all about the money either, hundreds of students volunteer in schools and community groups across the city.

"The demand for accommodation from students across Nottingham also helps regeneration in areas of the city that were possibly underdeveloped before.

"You only need to look at the growth of services around our Jubilee campus to see this, which was a regenerated brownfield site itself - formerly the Raleigh factory.

"Students really do therefore make an enormous contribution, economically, socially, culturally and artistically, to the city making Nottingham a fantastic place to live, study and work."

Nottingham Trent University also contributes £385m a year to the region.

Mike Carr, Pro Vice-Chancellor Employer and Economic Engagement at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Our students make a huge contribution to Nottingham both economically and culturally. 

"They play a key role in enhancing Nottingham’s reputation as a vibrant, cosmopolitan, cultural city. For many, that contribution to Nottingham continues following graduation, either as they settle in the area, find employment and set up their own businesses or go on to be great ambassadors for the city where they studied.”

Tim Garrett managing director at Innes England, based at the NG2 business park - said the overall picture is "a double edged sword."

He said: "We live in a market economy, people will build what people will buy.

"Five-years-ago we had 2.5 million sq ft of office space that was vacant, and now that figure is 700,000 sq ft.


"A lot of it has been taken up by student accommodation, and now we face a shortage of good quality office space - and this is lowering our ability to attract outside employers.

"We are in an odd position at the moment, and its down to the market but it always sorts itself out.

"The more student housing we have had, the better quality we have seen, which is good.

"It's a double-edged sword. Students bring life into a city and spend money, but at the same time if we don't have the space we are losing out on businesses."

Mr Garrett added the amount of student housing developments are essentially "taking away potential office jobs".

A Gedling Borough Council spokesman said there were no concerns about the rise in student accommodation in the borough.

They said: "The figures relate to only 0.26 percent of the properties in the borough.

"It is not cause for concern."

Across Bassetlaw borough there has been a 28 percent rise in the amount of student housing - from 53 in 2010 to 68 in 2016.

But throughout the borough of Rushcliffe the number of student properties has decreased by 23 percent.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, portfolio holder for planning, housing and heritage at Nottingham City Council, added: “Over the years there has been an increase in the number of students choosing Nottingham, meaning an increasing in demand for student housing.

"For example last year over 2,000 more students came to the city, compared to the year before. Most of the city’s purpose built, student-only accommodation is full, with a vacancy rate of 1.2% in 2016/17, which shows strong and consistent demand."

On-Line Comments

AgedDragon: The contributions to this article present the same arguments we have heard repeated for the last 20 years or so. The responses focus the spotlight on the other side of the studentification 'double-edged sword'.

Factor in the excessive and never-ending burden of dealing with couldn't-care-less tenants and absentee landlords, and it seems to me that Council Tax exemption for students in full-time higher education is questionable, if not downright unaffordable.

However, there is another aspect of studentification. At a time when there is a chronic shortage of homes, student HMOs are an unaffordable luxury. They represent a significant number of excellent family homes in ideal residential areas which are no longer available to buy or to rent by Nottingham's non-student population.

There seems to be a widely held belief that my home (and I live in Lenton) and the houses around me are in a 'student area'. No they are not. Without the millstone of studentification they would be just as much ordinary, sought after residential homes as anywhere in, say, Wollaton or West Bridgford: places where people look to put down their roots and invest in Nottingham's future.

LentonLife: This article is only looking for comment from the councils and universities. Of course students bring lots of revenue to the area, but this article does not address the very real social and environmental problems that huge numbers of students bring. For example:

1: lots of students living in residential areas seem to think they can behave how they like without thought to the community around them. Noise and ASB make areas depressing and the University of Nottingham does little to combat this, relying on council led Community Protection services to tackle students and tell them how to behave like adults

2: the issue of refuse management is huge esp. at end of academic year where students leave literally tons of rubbish outside their properties, expecting the council to pick it all up. Also the problem of not being willing or able to deal with rubbish week to week and get the right bin out for collection. Plus enormous amounts of litter on the pavements from nights out - beer cans, smashed wine and vodka bottles and take-away detritus. The UoN prides itself on its campuses but doesn't care about the impact its students have on areas around

3: volunteering? Not often in my community

johnNottm: One contributor to the article commented that "The demand for accommodation from students across Nottingham also helps regeneration in areas of the city that were possibly underdeveloped before." For residents of the Park, the Lenton Triangle and the Lenton Drives this does not ring true. The result of approximately 80% of residents now being students (yes you read that correctly ... nearly 80%) is a neighbourhood that has rowdy drinking and shouting groups of youths late a night on a regular basis. Overflowing waste bins (you don't need a university degree to be green-brown colour blind!) are a weekly occurence. Properties are declining in condition and have often been converted from 3 bedroom family homes to 8+ bedroom student slums. Also the constant refrain in the article that the universities and students bring millions of pounds to Nottingham rings hollow when you ask how much of this goes directly to the local councils to help pay for waste disposal, community policing, fire and rescue services ... I could go on but I think you will find that it is about £0.00. There should be a front page article based on ALL the facts.

NottsDaveOnce upon a time Nottingham was full of factories making things. And the houses were for the workers in those factories. That arrangement generated wealth. Now Nottingham is largely a dormitory. Retail does not generate wealth; it just moves the money from the city to manufacturers elsewhere

Alan Lemon: Where in Nottingham, Lenton in particular, students live in student-only houses they don't pay council tax. Once central government compensated for this but have ceased to do so. The burden of services for students is borne by the council tax payers of Nottingham. We have the travesty of the children from well-off homes in other parts of the country being financially supported by tax payers in St Ann's, The Meadows, Bestwood and Hyson Green. Moreover, students concentrated in huge numbers in Lenton create huge problems of noise, anti-social behaviour, litter and waste disposal. Residents have complained for years about this with very little having been done to eliminate these persistent problems. The University of Nottingham sympathise but have offered little effective help in managing their students. Once off campus the University think it's a City responsibility to control their students, whatever the cost to council tax payers. 

Enselle: they don’t contribute ~£10k they take ~£6K as they displace non-students. Look at Lenton.

Agast: Now you know why the Labour Party stays in  power in Nottingham and the locals have no chance of voting them out.

Richys: students make vry little contribution except to bars

Fedup051: Exempt from Council Tax!