Questions raised over student flats

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St Andrew's student accommodation on Rodney Street. Pic © JMU Journalism

St Andrew’s student accommodation on Rodney Street. Pic © JMU Journalism

Liverpool City Council’s former leader and education spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, Lord Mike Storey, has criticised the amount of student halls being built in the city.

There are currently almost 40 such facilities in Liverpool, accommodating students at the city’s four universities.

With more than 50,000 students living in Liverpool, Lord Storey accepts the need for residences but he has hit out over the locations being set aside for development.

The 65-year-old’s main concern is that other areas are being deprived of business and culture. He told JMU Journalism: “Students are important in helping communities develop, so if you put all the students in the city centre, the suburb communities are going to lose out.”

Lord Storey believes the character of Liverpool has changed over the years following the influx of students in term time. He said: “Students are there for nine months of the year so when they go it becomes a ghost town, and that is not the city centre we want and that is a danger.”

There are four large student accommodation developments currently being built in town, including those in China Town, Rodney Street, Hope Street and London Road, which are all set to take students from September 2015.

A lack of regulation about rent prices is another concern for Lord Storey, who told JMU Journalism: “The landlords realise that is isn’t the individual paying but someone else, so they can charge huge amounts.

“I’m not saying there shouldn’t be students in the city centre – of course there should be because they are really important – but equally the students are important to the suburbs.”

About Georgia Dunning, JMU Journalism