Huge row over Coventry student flats as some say there are too many

A view of terraced housing next to Coventry City Centre
A view of terraced housing next to Coventry City Centre -Credit:Andrew Aitchison/Getty Images

Offices will be torn down and student accommodation will rise in its place, after a controversial planning decision by Coventry City Council - but Coventry Live readers are split on the decision in our comments section. Land in Westwood Business Park can be used for student housing as part of a 're-gearing' of the lease, and a new 544-bed building is expected for the site.

A local protest aiming to "call in" the decision was rejected, on the grounds that it would delay the construction by a year and deny the council "improved income" in the meantime. Conservative councillor Marcus Lapsa was the sponsor of a petition against urgent approval, and said that if it was called in, "Whatever that decision is, the local community can be assured that the correct steps of scrutiny worked."

A recent report suggested that there was too much student accommodation currently in Coventry. One building applied to be able to rent out to non-students, after their 322-bed scheme was only two-thirds full during the last academic year.

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Commenter Manfredcov supports new schemes: "The presence of students in the city is of great financial significance, as they contribute substantially to the local economy. It's Coventry not lower Manhattan, lucky we have the universities."

Reader Nico8 disagrees: "The population of Coventry is rocketing because of these "students" they may bring some economic benefits but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages."

Covid53 says: "Housing students near to the university is freeing up general housing bought as HMOs. Best build for students and ban HMOs in the area. Students bring in a lot of disposable income supporting many shops and businesses. The NIMBYs need to remember universities are businesses."

Ytf writes: "Good idea to get students out of rented accommodation and in a safer environment."

Not everyone's pleased with the new schemes, or the manner in which they're being approved, however. Mouse111 says: "A public inquiry must be held to examine the ridiculous amount of student accommodation continually being built. Building student accommodation really is never-ending, but logically there has to be a final figure, common sense dictates!"

Shelly7474 writes: “University of Warwick are literally taking over Canley and Westwood... house prices going up even more, I can't afford to buy mine...”

Blueblue123 says: "I would agree that student accommodation is better placed by Warwick University and in underused and empty former office blocks. However, to just ignore the concerns of locals and reject the requirement for review, and also in an era where student blocks are sitting without full capacity, on the basis of apparent extra revenue is concerning."

CheerUp! writes: "Student accommodation being built right next to the university... but I'm pretty sure some people will still find something to moan about!"

Should the expansion of student accommodation in Coventry continue to be supported? Comment below, and join in on the conversation.