Bath MP hits out at student developments as house prices soar
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has called for fresh support for her campaign to stop speculative student development while criticising the government for failing to take action on soaring house prices Data from the House of Commons Library shows that the average house price in Bath is now GBP400,000, up from GBP297,000 in 2015. The figure is GBP125,000 higher than the average for England and Wales, and GBP112,500 more than the regional average of GBP287,500.
The problem raises concerns especially for young people trying to get onto the housing ladder, at a time when the cost of living is sky-rocketing. Mrs Hobhouse has spoken out previously against speculative student development in the city which she claims has driven prices up. : Bath mum helps send truck load of aid to Ukrainian refugees
She has also criticised the rise of larger properties being rented on Airbnb means that whole family homes are being lost to people coming to visit. The government has not acted on either issue and now Mrs Hobhouse is calling for residents’ support. To mitigate the impact of purpose-built student developments, Bath and North East Somerset Council have drafted a new planning policy that would require student accommodation to be built on the campuses of the two universities in Bath, ending speculative student developments in the city driven solely by profit.
Mrs Hobhouse has called on people to support the policy and sign a petition.
Data from the House of Commons Library shows house prices around different parts of Bath (Image: House of Commons Library)
Commenting, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said: “For years Bath has been vulnerable to speculative developers creating student accommodation blocks wherever they can. It has to stop. Purpose-built student accommodation uses up land for housing, causing issues for local Bath residents and making it more difficult to find homes to buy or rent.
“Similarly, the trend of larger properties being rented out as Airbnbs is making it more and more difficult for residents to find affordable housing. Bath and North East Somerset Council are pressing on with plans to build the first affordable housing in a generation but the government is failing to follow suit. “The government must step up and show a willingness to tackle the housing crisis which is affecting people of all ages.
They must offer solutions to excessive Airbnbs and not allow surplus student accommodation to be built in city centres.”