Downing is delivering a 730-bedroom student accomodation scheme in Norton Street

Liverpool to consider student resi review

An independent review commissioned by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson into the student accommodation market has concluded that “there is no need for a moratorium on new schemes” in the city.

The report will be considered by the council’s cabinet on 2 October, and has looked at the demand, supply and impact of student accommodation due to a growth in planning applications and approvals in recent months.

The review has concluded that the pipeline of new schemes does not need to be limited as “the growth is part of the natural development cycle and will eventually diminish”. In addition, student numbers are likely to remain stable and some older accommodation is coming to the end of its life and will provide opportunities for redevelopment in terms of housing or commercial space.

Recent planning approvals include two student accommodation schemes in the Baltic Triangle and Queensland Place by Elliot Group totalling 500-bedrooms. Downing is currently working on 1,600-beds of student accommodation across Devon Street, Gildart Street and Norton Street, while Legacy Student Living is developing 192-serviced apartments on the site of the former Rapid DIY building in Renshaw Street.

The report makes a series of recommendations to give the council a framework to influence future developments. They include:

  • Introducing ‘zones of opportunity’ in the city centre to direct where future developments are located
  • Using planning powers to make sure proposals for student accommodation have viable alternative uses in the event that demand falls
  • Setting up a range of measures to encourage good quality management of student accommodation, such as requiring a management plan with standards for refuse/waste and behaviour with any planning application

The report also recommends that the council has a clear strategy to manage the impact of the changing ‘houses of multiple occupation’ market, for example in areas where fewer students now choose to live. This could include using planning powers to exercise greater control over the location and intensification of HMOs and using landlord licensing regulations to make sure they are good quality.

Cllr Frank Hont, cabinet member for housing, who chaired the review, said: “Students make a £1bn contribution to the city’s economy and in many cases they go on to make Liverpool their permanent home and bring up their families here. This is about balancing their needs with other members of the community.

“Although there has been an increase in applications for purpose built accommodation, all of the evidence we have is that there is still sufficient demand.

“What we are proposing is a series of practical and sensible recommendations that future proof student developments and ensure areas do not become too saturated with a type of accommodation that could become unsustainable and destabilise an entire community.”

The review group was made up of councillors and independent experts with experience and knowledge of the student, university and developer communities.

The full Student Accommodation Review report can be read here

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

All this demand demonstrates that Liverpool’s a great place to spend your youth

By scrub

an excellent and considered piece … students are the lifeblood of the City and part of the economy … just need to find homes for them to live post graduation and keep them in the City rather than losing them to other parts of the County or further afield … not that London …

By Norman Davies

Liverpool just doesn’t have the job opportunities or wages to keep them from moving to Manchester / Leeds or onto London after graduation.

By Welshie

Interesting point Welshie, but too general. I graduated in Liverpool 10 years ago and started working in the city on a £20k salary. I’ve moved on within the city and now earn just short of £50k. I can tell similar stories about friends too. There seems to be something of a misplaced assumption that there are no good jobs here. There are.


Great place to spend your youth. Great place to spend time with family – both young and old! Great place to eat on Bold St eat lots of independents. Agree that there is a lot of generalisation about wages etc its not the 1980s any more!
Glad to see that there is some focus on bespoke student accommodation as the University of Liverpool and JMU are going from strength to strength. And perhaps the wonderful houses off Smithdown road such as Avondale, Borrowdale etc can be returned back to family housing. As those that are inhabited by families are suffering if there is a load of fun loving students next door. And address the lack of family housing. So everyone is happy.

By Bob Dawson

My daughter was put off Liverpool Uni by the very high prices of recently completed blocks – £130-£140 per week.

If they can fill the blocks with students then it can only be good for the city. I’ve always had a great time in Liverpool.

By ChesneyT

But it’s a great place to spend your youth and generates real affection that lasts.

By Paul Blackburn (Chester)