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City says no more student halls in West End hotspots

New planning guidance has been approved in response to concerns about over-concentration of student accommodation in certain areas.

Glasgow City Council is to block any further student accommodation being built in West End hotspots.

New planning guidance has been approved by the council in response to concerns about over-concentration of provision in certain areas.

And ‘South Partick and Yorkhill’ is one of two zones in the city where the council will no longer support student accommodation.

The other designated area is Cowcaddens and Townhead.

The new guidance states: “The area surrounding the University of Glasgow has a dense tenemental character which was built up around the same time as the Gilmorehill Campus in the late 19th century. 

“In the past decade, purpose built student accommodation has primarily located around the area’s southern fringes in South Partick and Yorkhill. 

“Much of this land was formerly industrial which once supported the city’s riverside economy. 

“A careful balance must be struck between regenerating previously developed land, maintaining residential amenity and promoting inclusive neighbourhood growth. 

“This area reflects the characteristics of a locality which has a higher capacity to accommodate student accommodation. 

“Nevertheless, this capacity is not limitless and a balance still must be struck to protect community cohesion. 

“The volume of purpose built student accommodation in South Partick and Yorkhill has now reached such a level that further development of purpose built student accommodation would likely undermine residential amenity in these areas. 

Large student blocks have been built on former industrial sites.
Large student blocks have been built on former industrial sites.

“Therefore, the Council will resist future applications for purpose built student accommodation in the designated area of over-concentration.”

The new guidance follows public consultation that was carried out between November 2020 and January 2021, which prompted 500 comments.

Councillor Kenny McLean is city convener for Neighbourhood, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council.

The volume of purpose-built student accommodation in South Partick and Yorkhill has now reached such a level that further development of purpose-built student accommodation would likely undermine residential amenity in these areas

Glasgow City Council

He said: “The new planning guidance on student accommodation will stop over-concentration in certain areas of the city and improve quality of design.  

“While student accommodation is key to attracting and supporting a key part of Glasgow’s social and economic life, this more balanced approach to future development and provision will benefit our student population and the wider city.”

The guidance will be submitted to the Scottish Government for consideration, and if no changes are proposed, will be adopted by the council.

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