Student Housing - draft planning guidance

Closed 20 Nov 2015

Opened 9 Oct 2015

Feedback updated 24 Feb 2017

We asked

The consultation asked 7 questions relating to issues associated with student housing, such as, the need for student housing, the continued need for locational guidance and the use of the concentration thresholds. In addition, there was an opportunity to submit any other comments.

You said

A total of 49 responses were submitted electronically through the Council’s Consultation Hub. An additional 8 written submissions were received.

In summary, the responses reflected:

• support for additional student accommodation on campus

• draft guidance approach of locating student accommodation near campus not generally supported

• draft guidance approach of locating student accommodation near town centres not generally supported

• support for locating student accommodation in accessible locations

• current approach has failed to free up housing or deliver required much needed housing

• a feeling that student accommodation rents are expensive and there is a limited type of accommodation on offer

• support for lower concentration thresholds

• no evidence of negative impact from student accommodation

• need to acknowledge other uses which contribute to transient population

• need for more general and affordable housing; and

• support for requiring housing as part of mix of uses on larger sites, and ground floor alternative uses. 

We did

The guidance has now been revised and approved by Planning Committee in light of research, monitoring work and the comments received during the consultation period.  The full report can be seen on the Council website (item 5.1).



Purpose-built student accommodation is required to support the city’s higher educational establishments. Both the Edinburgh City Local Plan (ECLP) and the emerging Second Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP June 2014) include a policy to guide its location. To assist with the implementation of this policy, non-statutory planning guidance has been in use since 2010.

Planning Committee approved an Issues Paper for consultation in December 2014 with consultation carried out between 16 March 2015 and 24 April 2015.  The findings were reported to the Planning Committee on 6th August 2015 and the revised Student Housing Planning Guidance approved for consultation.

pdf version

ePub for Ipads





                               Pdf version                                                 ePub for Ipads

The intention is to provide clarity of the location of student accommodation to ensure the character of each site is considered, whilst continuing to promote or safeguard mixed, sustainable communities. The issue of student accommodation is linked to the need for general and affordable housing, and the revised guidance reflects this.

Why your views matter

We are seeking your views on the revised planning guidance for student accommodation. We are also seeking feedback on our new ePub format for documents.

What happens next

It is expected that a finalised Student Housing Guidance will be presented to Planning Committee in February 2016, taking due consideration of comments received during the consultation. A report of the consultation responses received will be provided to Committee within the finalised Guidance. 


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