By STEWART PATERSON
More student flat developments capable of housing almost 10,000 are planned for Glasgow.
Concentrated in the city centre and west end almost 30 new blocks are either under construction or in the planning process.
Last year 30 developments either new builds of conversions housing more than 6000 students were completed.
While concerns have been raised about the impact of so many blocks studies have shown students are worth more than half a billion pounds to the city economy.
A report to the council shows the concentration of existing student developments and those in the pipeline which will add thousands more to the market.
The most common model for student housing has become the Purpose Build Student Accommodation block, several of which have been build across the centre of the city.
the students blocks provide an alternative to the House in Multiple Occupation model of several students sharing a multi bedroomed usually flat in a tenement close.
The biggest currently in the pipeline is at Kelvinhaugh Street in the west of the city in the Yorkhill area where a block of 607 bedrooms is under construction.
Another 600 bed development at Port Dundas Road in the city centre is awaiting a decision on consent.
In total there are seven developments containing more than 500 beds each at different stages of the planning or construction phase.
The new blocks are clustered around the three universities, Glasgow in the west and Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian in the city centre.
The further education colleges, including the two new City of Glasgow Colleges also add to demand.
This week the Evening Times reported how the council was seeking a new report into the impact of student flats as it faces decisions of whether to approve more blocks.
Some have caused controversy like the plan for a 400 bed multi-storey block at High Street on the site of the Old College Bar, the city’s oldest pub.
Concerns have been raised about the impact new developments have on communities and on the environment in historical parts of the city.
The Committee was concerned it didn’t have a full picture of the pros and cons of the blocks to inform future decisions.
International students are driving the demand for purpose build accommodation.
The majority of students at Glasgow institutions are from Glasgow and the rest of Scotland, the number of European and international students has been increasing in recent years.
International students now account for more than 205 of the city’s total, offsetting the decline in demand from local students.
The increase in demand is particularly from Europe and China many of whom are looking for high quality self contained accommodation
Reports have shown that students bring an enormous economic benefit to Glasgow, estimated at more than half a billion pounds.
Full time Students are estimated to spend around £7000 a year on services and goods including housing entertainment food and travel.
Business leaders said students contribute to key economic sectors in Glasgow and they need quality accommodation.
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce said: “City centre retail, bars and restaurants provide more than 30,000 jobs in the city, and are worth a massive £5.5billion a year to Glasgow.
“Students spend £120m a year on entertainment alone, and are obviously a mainstay of the night-time economy in particular.
“We need a supply of well-qualified graduates and to encourage those who study here to stay on and contribute to the city’s future. One of the challenges is ensuring their experience in Glasgow is a good one, and that includes a high standard of accommodation in a modern flat, rather than a damp basement.”
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