Will Article 4 drive students out of Canterbury?

Christie Brewington is reporting from one of Canterbury’s busiest student streets. Check it out here.

By Christie Brewington

Students fear they may be priced out of Canterbury following the introduction of Article 4 that prevents landlords converting houses in residential areas.

Article 4 was passed last Friday and will now require landlords to apply for planning permission to convert family homes into Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).

Students who have recently joined Canterbury Christ Church University fear that this new law may affect housing choices in the future. John-Lee Dauer, who studies Education Studies with French, thinks this will affect those who are not as financially stable whilst studying away from home.

John-Lee said: “It does scare me because the amount of places I will be able to live in is going to get lower and will become probably more expensive, which I can afford, however a lot of my friends might not. Does that mean they will have to drop out on their last year?”

Areas of Canterbury have been dubbed “student ghettos”, that create an unbalanced community, forcing the council to take action. Third year student at Christ Church, Emily Prest, has more.

Controlling the growth of student housing could be the solution to the lack of functioning communities, according to the Senior Media Officer at Canterbury council, Robert Davies.

Robert said: “Such concentration puts pressure on local amenities, traffic congestion, existing families and external appearance in the area. It is felt that reducing these pockets of concentrated HMOs through greater assessment is required.”

Military Road
Military Road

Lettings negotiator for iConn Property Management, Amy Chilvers, believes that despite the issues this may bring to the historic city in regards to students, it will help to enclose the property industry and reduce competition.

Amy said: “Article 4 will certainly, in the short term, help prevent landlords struggling to rent out their properties, as the market will not continue to be flooded with new investors looking to refurbish family homes and branch out into the student property market.”

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