Student rooms are taking prime sites
DURING the Christmas recess I took the opportunity to visit areas of the city which are not part of my normal daily itinerary.
Whilst enjoying my tour, I could not help but notice the abundance of advertised accommodation available to students in one form or another, private landlord, new inhabited buildings (Exeter Street and Derriford) and new structures yet to be completed (the ex NAAFI site, the location of which providing access to the Hoe, Barbican and City Centre would appeal to many Plymothians).
I do recognise the contribution by the university to the local economy but one has also to understand the attitude of Plymothians who are not anti-student, but see finance made readily available to that quarter as opposed to a growing social housing list with some people including homeless and displaced persons desperate for accommodation, (I am aware that the finance of student accommodation and social housing is derived from different sectors).
I have always believed that Plymouth University and its student accommodation should have been located on the city's perimeter and not within the city itself. If the plan is to provide and promote accommodation within the city centre precinct, then it should be made available to local Plymouth residents and not a migrant population whose future in the majority of cases will be away from our city.
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I further believe that emphasis on housing local people within the inner city would have promoted a vibrance and a sense of feeling of belonging within the community, in other words "A people's city for its people"