"How will Edinburgh manage student accommodation expansion?" - John McLellan

My council motion calling for a summit with the four universities to discuss their future accommodation needs was defeated by an administration keen to embrace successes but ignore the problems.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 9:46 am
The Meadowbank Stadium site was earmarked for student accommodation. Picture: Ian Georgeson/TSPL

Such is the opposition to student flats that the council has removed a block of about 800 rooms it had planned at the Meadowbank Stadium site, which will please local people already worried about the suitability of blocks proposed for nearby sites along London Road.

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But if the council agrees university growth is a good thing – and I’ve not heard anyone argue otherwise – then how is expansion to be managed? It is clear from representations that even if accommodation schemes are justifiable, affected residents do not feel current policies adequately meet their concerns.

If universities wash their hands of the wider implications of expansion, the council administration must do more than hand them a towel.