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Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) Statement

Published: 2023-03-29 Updated: 2023-03-31 Subject:

Planning application - local requirement

This requirement aims to ensure that new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) is developed appropriately, minimising or mitigating any negative impacts on the area of development and its surroundings. It requires a statement or formal agreement, between the developer and a relevant education provider within the district. Where it is not possible to provide such a statement, the applicant must show evidence that the proposed development will meet the needs of second and third year students.

When this requirement applies

You will need to submit this Statement for all planning applications for PBSA located anywhere in the District, apart from on allocated sites where student accommodation use is specifically identified within the Development Principles. 

What the statement should include

The statement should set out how the development complies with policy H2A in the Local Plan Partial Update (pages 147 to 148), demonstrating a need for the proposed purpose built student accommodation. You can meet this through either of the following means:

  • Evidence of a formal agreement between the developer and a relevant education provider within the District
  • Evidence that the proposed development meets the needs of second and third year university students

Policy H2A sets out a number of requirements upon proposals for PBSA developments, and applicants will need to take these into account when designing these developments and preparing a PBSA Statement. These requirements are designed to achieve the following:

  • Minimising any negative impact on businesses or residential areas surrounding the new development
  • Ensuring that the site is suitable for student accommodation
  • Ensuring that there is consideration of sustainable transport options for occupants, and sufficient parking and storage space is available for cars, bikes and other forms of transport
  • Setting out appropriate standards for building layout, design and quality
  • Designing for the flexibility to revert to more traditional residential use, if appropriate in the future
  • Ensuring the development doesn't compromise other policies within the Local Plan
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