Sunderland City Council and the University of Sunderland aspire to develop a city centre which has the characteristics and qualities of a university city.

The Interim Student Accommodation Policy links the aspirations of the City Council and the University of Sunderland with the National Planning Policy Framework and other council strategies to ensure the vitality of the city centre.

This document links those aspirations with the National Planning Policy Framework and other council strategies that ensure the vitality of the city centre.

It provides guidance and advice to prospective developers on:

  • Where student accommodation should be located
  • The quality we expect
  • How much accommodation is needed

The final policy document will be incorporated into the city's local plan.

The main objective of this interim policy is to:

'Maximise the benefit of student accommodation to regenerate the city centre and assist in creating a university city that offers an excellent student experience'

This will be achieved by:

  • Favourably considering good quality accommodation located in the city centre and on campus
  • Making sure there's a balance between supply and demand at each level of quality
  • Making sure that students have a choice of accommodation
  • Enhancing the student experience
  • Making sure there is not too much student accommodation for the demand

Developing a vibrant city centre is a priority for the council. Directing student accommodation to the city centre will help to bring life into the centre. It will start to create a city centre which provides both the day time and evening uses that students are looking for. All of this will be close to, and easily accessed by, both the campus at Chester Road and at St Peter's.

The quality of the accommodation is fundamental. Students expect high quality accommodation with a range of facilities included. As such, all student accommodation should be developed to high standards. There should also be choice and value for money so students can opt for different types of accommodation depending on their circumstances.

We need to make sure that there is not too much student accommodation, which cannot be easily converted to other uses. Therefore, student accommodation numbers need to be managed in line with projected student numbers.

Therefore, it's important for the city that a student accommodation policy is developed to:

  • Assist in delivering city centre regeneration
  • Contribute to enhancing the student experience
  • Offer choice in good quality accommodation
  • Make sure that supply does not outstrip demand

We recognise that students and the University make an important contribution to the city's economy. They increase demand for services, shops, and housing while studying. As potential future residents of the city, they can contribute to its prosperity and regeneration.

By providing choice in accommodation and ensuring students reside in the city and do not feel isolated from the university and its activities, will help create the qualities and characteristics Sunderland as a university city, should have.

Icon for pdf Interim Student Accommodation Policy [853.39KB]