Petition to keep students in the Golden Triangle reaches 750 signatures
- Credit: Archant
Norwich Councillors will vote on Wednesday under controversial directive, which reduces multiple occupancy housing over fears of 'studentification.'
On September 14, councillors will vote whether to implement Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995, which enables local planning authorities to place restrictions on conversions of properties into houses of multiple occupation. (HMOs)
Since 1995, it has been much easier to implement this restriction, as the permission of the secretary of state is no longer necessary.
The directive enables local planning authorities to drive out students from areas such as the Golden Triangle, where 30pc of the housing is used in this way.
The proposal will be discussed at the next cabinet meeting and is likely to suggest the limit on the number of HMOs in certain areas, which covers over 4500 dwellings.
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UEA Students' Union believes this is based on the premise that 'students make bad neighbours and are driving away potential family buyers in these areas.'
Labour councillor Chris Herries chaired the Sustainable Development Panel on June 29 and supports the proposal.
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'We are not seeking to vilify students, because they are a fantastic, positive force in the city, but we want to make sure that there are not any areas that become predominantly HMOs that are not structured for that.'
The university has substantially increased its intake this year, including the newly built Hickling and Barking house. Yet, with the proposed changes undergrads will struggle to find housing after their first year of university.
The Student Union has set up a petition on change.org, which calls on supporters to lobby Norwich City Council to reject Article 4.
The petition currently has 750 signatures and a Facebook event 'Save Student Housing in Norwich-Lobby City Cabinet' for next Wednesday's council meeting to campaign against the change.
'Make your voices heard and keep your community diverse, not divided'.
Campaigns and Democracy Officer of the UEA Union Amy Rust said 'This policy will mean a reduction in affordable housing for students, lower housing standards due to less competition and students having to live further away from the university, with the associated travel costs.'
The change will also disproportionally affect young professionals, who also make up a large population of the surrounding Norwich areas, with the university only three miles from the city.
UEASU are also currently working on a 'Good Neighbour Scheme', which aims to bring students and their neighbours' together and encourage good communication.
Do you support Article 4? Let us know in the comments.