If you’ve driven down Lewes Rd or to Sainsbury’s in recent weeks then you’ll have the seen the developments taking place on the Vogue Gyratory. Progress is being made on new housing specifically for university students, however even when all current projects are complete, students will still be short by 1,700 rooms.
Brighton and Hove will still require 1,700 rooms for its current students, even when the current private schemes and university planned expansions have taken place. With its ever-growing student population, it seems that Brighton is just not equipped to house everyone.
Development director for CKC Properties, Nick Scott, has said that the city remains under supplied for student accommodation despite all the investment that has taken place for student facilities.
Applications for over 500 privately owned student rooms around the Vogue Gyratory have been submitted over the past three years, alongside the University of Brighton’s own plans for a £150 million expansion.
Some people have voiced concerns that the universities ought to ensure there is adequate accommodation for all students, with ward councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner calling for both Brighton-based universities to house their combined 35,000 students throughout their time studying.
University heads responded that it would be impractical to do so and claimed that no other universities in the UK go by that procedure.
According to Mr Scott there is a debate to be had on whether or not it is more desirable to house students in one particular area or to spread them out across the city. As for the former, that has already been seen on Lewes Rd to which many residents have voiced concern and referred to it as “studentification”. In regards to the latter, having students spread across the city would be more likely to increase congestion.
He claimed that CKC Properties chose to focus on the Vogue Gyratory site due to its strong public transport links and proximity to the universities.
As Mr Scott said, one of the main benefits to purpose-built schemes is that HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) would be released back into the general housing stock.
In response to the idea of accommodating students for their full time at university, a spokesperson for the University of Sussex said: “Students want to enjoy living in Brighton for some of the time and we believe communities work best when people from all walks of life live side by side. We absolutely appreciate the complex housing environment here and are actively involved with politicians and residents’ groups on how we can work together.”