Agenda item

Agenda item

Purpose Built Student Accommodation

Report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) attached


The Executive considered a report of the Strategic Director (Growth and Development), which provided an update on the provision of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in Manchester and issues that had arisen since the last report in December 2020. It also recommended that the Executive agreed to the establishment of a pipeline of schemes as set out in the report in order to address a projected shortfall of accommodation up to 2030.


The Executive Member for Growth and Development advised that providing a residential offer for students to address needs had been a long-held Council objective as part of its Housing Strategy and planning policy framework.  It had been broadly recognized and accepted that there was a shortage of PBSA in Manchester. This was brought clearly into focus at the beginning of this academic year when some Manchester students could not be housed in PBSA in the City. This was in part a result of the Universities closing some sub-standard accommodation but also because sufficient new accommodation had not been delivered in appropriate locations.


Projections estimated that demand for new PBSA could be between 5440 bedspaces (representing a 1% growth per annum) and 11320 (representing 2% growth per annum) up to 2030.  Whilst actual demand would depend on a number of factors, it was considered that around 750 new bed spaces were required per annum up to 2030.


20 sites had been identified which could potentially support around 12,500 PBSA bedspaces. Their suitability, availability and deliverability had been assessed to establish whether they were capable of meeting bedspace requirements, in line with identified and projected need.  In order to establish a pipeline, each site had been categorised via a traffic light system. Sites that had planning permission were categorised as green. Sites that were amber required further action before they could be established as a fully defendable part of the pipeline, but there was a realistic prospect of delivery..  All sites identified as amber or green were considered to form part of the City Council’s pipeline of potential PBSA sites.


Councillor Wright (Hulme Ward Councillor) addressed the meeting, raising concerns around the inclusion of particular sites within the report which could then be used to justify planning applications opposed by the local community and ward councillors.  In addition she commented that there should be no reference to any site that would have a detrimental impact on the repeated request to have Aquarius area being designated as a residential part of Hulme in the new Local Plan.  Her largest concern was the proposed inclusion of the Gamecock Pub as a potential site, given this was a live planning application to which there had been repeated opposition to by the local community.  As such she requested the Executive removed the Gamecock Pub as a potential site for PBSA from the list.


The Executive Member for Growth and Development and the Strategic Director (Growth and Development) both reiterated that the list of schemes within the report were not an exhaustive list, and some may not be brought forward.  The purpose of the report was to demonstrate that there was sufficient opportunity, and there was no obvious need to significantly depart from Policy H12 which had largely been effective in managing the supply of PBSA.  It was note that other schemes may also be progressed that were not on the list but nevertheless complied with policy H12.


The report had also been considered by the Economy and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 23 May 2023, with the Committee endorsing the recommendations asked of the Executive subject to the amendment of recommendation (2) to read “Consider the list of schemes set out in the report as the pipeline that will deliver the required amount of PBSA up to 2030, pending consultation with ward members”.




The Executive


(1)       Note the changes that have taken place regarding the provision of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation since December 2022.


(2)       Endorse the list of schemes set out in the report as the pipeline that will deliver the required amount of PBSA up to 2030 pending consultation with ward members. .


(3)       Endorse the approach set out in the report to help guide the decision-making process in advance of the review of the Local Plan and request the Planning and Highways Committee take this approach into account as a material consideration until the Local Plan has been reviewed.

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