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Rodney Street Association
Student Property Controversy
Liverpool looks set to receive a boost to its supply of student accommodation, with plans to build new units on the city's historic Hope Street on the verge of approval. Although considered controversial by some local residents and businesses, the project will create rooms for more than 350 students in two L-shaped blocks, the BBC reported. Maghull Developments will take charge of the project should the plans be approved. The council's planning officer believes the building will be of an appropriate scale and form for its prominent location, but those in objection to the plans claim the new unit will be disjointed from the rest of the street, according to the newspaper. Councillors Nick Small, Sharon Sullivan and Christine Banks have also come out against the new student accommodation site, as they believe it could create anti-social behaviour and noise for those living in the area. What's more, the building isn't of a high enough quality for this part of the city. The Rodney Street Association has added to the raft of criticism levelled at the project, calling it a "monstrous" development, "more in-keeping with post-war Bucharest or Minsk rather than with Liverpool's Hope Street". Nevertheless, the site will help give the city much needed student accommodation, which has come under high demand in recent years as more and more people choose a University education. Consequently, student property is now viewed as a lucrative property investment opportunity. The Knight Frank student property report 2012 showed that student accommodation has outperformed every other commercial property class and has been delivering "consistent returns". Head of student property James Pullan claims this is because there is currently an under-supply of purpose-built accommodation, particularly in London. The nation's capital has been identified as a prime spot for investment, with total returns almost doubling in 2011 from 8.4 per cent to 15.1 per cent. Average rents also increased, with the price of a studio rising to GBP 278 per week from GBP 257, and an ensuite increasing from GBP 192 a week to GBP 210.
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