Publication: Pre-Submission Gloucester City Plan

Pre-Submission City Plan

Policy A4: Student accommodation

Proposals for new purpose-built student accommodation must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The proposal will provide for an identified need of a further educational establishment located in Gloucestershire, for students attending full time courses for one academic year or more; and
  2. The developer has entered into a formal agreement with the further education establishment; and
  3. The proposed accommodation is suitable in type, layout, affordability and maintenance regime for the relevant institution(s); and
  4. The location is well served by sustainable transport modes; and
  5. Rooms and facilities are of an appropriate size for living and studying.

The Council will seek appropriate controls to ensure that, within academic terms, the approved schemes are occupied solely as student accommodation for identified institution(s).

Proposals for purpose-built student accommodation will not be supported on sites allocated for housing elsewhere in the GCP.

The permanent loss of purpose-built student accommodating will only be supported where it can be demonstrated that the accommodation is surplus to the current and future requirements of relevant further education establishments, or equivalent or better replacement provision is made in a suitable location.


3.1.29 Gloucester City has a strong presence from further educational establishments; namely the University of Gloucestershire, the University of the West of England and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Hartpury College and University is also located a short distance to the north of the city.

3.1.30 The City Council is keen to support the growth of these establishments, and others should they choose to locate campuses within the county, and recognise the important contributions that students living in the city make to the local economy. At the same time, over recent years the Council has received speculative planning applications for student accommodation that have not since come forward.

3.1.31 In support of the GCP, consultation with the current further educational establishment has been undertaken to understand current and future needs for purpose-built student accommodation. It concludes that current built supply of accommodation, plus an element of those units with planning consent, are adequate to provide for current needs, and those anticipated in the short to medium term.

3.1.32 The Council is keen to ensure that the best possible use is made of its finite land supply and will support planning applications for new purpose-built student accommodation where there is a proven need and it would deliver a quality living environment for future students. For the same reason, the Council is keen to protect from the loss of existing student accommodation to alternative uses. In support of planning applications, applicants will be expected to provide written evidence from the further education establishment, demonstrating the need the proposal would provide for, as well as evidence of a formal agreement between the developer and that further education establishment.

3.1.33 Outside of term time, student accommodation can provide an important source of accommodation in support of tourism, events and festivals. The City Council strongly supports the use of purpose-built student accommodation in this way.