Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, has condemned a new Planning Application for a 7-storey student accommodation block in the area.
He has written to Birmingham City Council to outline his objections to the proposed high-rise, purpose-built accommodation for 526 students on Elliot Road. The MP has also raised concerns about proposals for more student accommodation on the Selly Oak Triangle Site.
Last year Steve McCabe surveyed local residents to ask for their views on the proposals for Elliot Road, an overwhelming 85% of people who responded did not support the plans to build student accommodation on Elliot Road and only 4% said they would be in favour of the development going ahead. When asked what their main concerns were about the plans, 86% said they were worried about the pressure this would cause local services and 77% said this would add to existing parking problems in the area. 73% of respondents also noted the number of beds being proposed was quite unreasonable for the nature of the development.
Local residents say Selly Oak is losing its identity with the sense of community being lost because developers are putting profit before people without any regard to the needs of the existing population. As well as opposing this application, Steve is calling for new legislation to give communities more power over the planning process; including a right of appeal. He has also called on Birmingham City Council to conduct a review on the demand for student accommodation in South Birmingham. He says Selly Oak is rapidly becoming student ‘dormaville’ for the whole of Birmingham and surrounding areas without any extra resources or compensation for the impact it is having
He previously introduced a Ten Minute Rule Bill – The Protection of Family Homes – in a bid to stop developers and rogue landlords riding roughshod over communities. The previous government refused to give it the parliamentary time it needed but he says will be looking for ways to continue the fight in the new parliament.
Local Councillors, Fred Grindrod and Liz Clements will be taking a petition started by residents which has over 100 signatures to Birmingham City Council, speaking on the plans they said:
“This proposal would cause significant detriment to our local community, local residents are in agreement that they do not want more student accommodation on their doorstep”
Steve McCabe MP said:
“Residents who have lived in Selly Oak their whole lives are telling me the place they knew and loved is being taken away by developers. We can’t sit by and watch whole neighbourhoods destroyed so that developers can throw up ‘sardine tin’ accommodation from which they make huge profits by charging the students extortionate rents. It is time for a change to planning laws to give local communities a greater voice and its time the student population was more equitably shared across the city.”