The NLA’s representative for Southampton, Mark Richardson, shares his views on Southampton City Council’s decision to build a new student village in an area covered by an Article 4 Direction.
Those of you living in and around Southampton will know that an Article 4 Direction was introduced across the city in March this year. The aim of the Direction was to create balanced communities throughout the city and in the Bargate ward of Southampton, the Article 4 Direction was enforced to limit the growth of the student population in the area.
One of many great things about Southampton is its student population and the diversity this brings to the city. The city also benefits from the revenue students generate – the custom they bring to the local shops, bars and cafes and the rental revenue they bring to local landlords. However, the introduction of the Article 4 Direction means that student communities who bring income and vibrancy to the city will be pushed out of the city, into other areas.
This problem seems to be apparent to Southampton City Council as they have just received planning permission to build a student village to house 1000 students in the Bargate area.
However, this plan seems to contradict the purpose of the Article 4 Direction, limiting the student population in the area. With an already high concentration of students living in Bargate, it seems to me that the Council has contradicted their original intention to limit the number of students in one area under the Direction they put in place only months ago.
As a landlord in Southampton, I am left wondering why the Article 4 Direction was introduced in the first place and why the Council wanted to limit the number of students in the Bargate area only to build their own student accommodation.
What do you think? Has this happened in your area?