Student Housing in Edinburgh

Closed 24 Apr 2015

Opened 16 Mar 2015

Feedback updated 9 Oct 2015

We asked

Should we continue to support the growth of further education in Edinburgh? Should we identify specific sites for student housing? Should we continue to use a 30% threshold or introduce different thresholds to reflect the roles of different areas? On larger sites, should we be requiring a proportion of general housing as part of the proposed development?

You said

Further education a key part of Edinburgh and a key generator of economic and social activity in the city. The guidance should identify specific sites on the periphery of the city or preferred locations. The guidance should apply different thresholds in different areas to create balanced mixed communities. This is essential for the existing community, creating mixed communities and avoiding student “ghettos”. A 50/50 development split is suggested.

We did

The guidance continues to support the growth of further education by supporting additional student housing. The guidance will support purpose-built student accommodation in sustainable locations, including town centres. The guidance incorporates the use of varying concentration thresholds. The guideline sets out how general housing will be required on larger sites and on windfall sites, requiring a 50/50 split.


This issues paper presents background research on student housing. It asks for your views to inform a revision in how the Council manages the housing requirements of the city’s growing number of students. It specifically asks about the support given to:

  • the growth of learning in the city,
  • meeting needs through purpose-built student accommodation; and
  • how this accommodation is distributed across the city.


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Why your views matter

The Council’s Student Housing Guidance is being reviewed to take on board the growth in the number of students in the city. This issues paper presents background research and asks for your views to inform the preparation of revised Student Housing Guidance for purpose-built student housing within the city.

Please note: the Council will also be consulting on the approach it takes to licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). While these are different statutory functions of the Council, and HMOs provide accommodation to a wider range of people, there is a relationship between these issues and we are keen to get your views on HMO licensing too.  This consultation will be on the consultation hub in the near future.

What happens next

Your comments have been taken into account in the preparation of draft revised planning guidance. This draft guidance has been reported to Planning Committee for approval for further consultation later this year.


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