Council intensifies clamp-down on Selly student housing
Residents brand Selly Oak a ‘slum’ as the Council attempts to prevent the student community growing further
Furious locals have branded Selly Oak “Britain’s first favela” as they bid to boot students out of the area.
The Council has launched a campaign to stop any more student houses being built in Selly in order to appease angered residents, who claim the student area resembles “ a third world shanty town”.
The council’s most recent campaign follows last term’s plans to impose restrictions on where Birmingham student’s could live in the area- a motion which has not yet come into effect but threatens to pose the student community with a real headache.
Even before term commences, there has been a number of issues with first-year students missing out on accommodation, and the Council’s intensified clamp-down may only exacerbate the current housing shortage further.
The Council’s enforcement of new legislation- known as ‘Article 4 Direction’ is designed to limit the effect of ‘rowdy’ student behaviour on the surrounding area.
Already, an application to convert 101 Hubert Road into a 10-bed student house has been declined, and with Article Four set to come into action as early as November, many more may be declined in the near future.
Article Four will stop any more student houses from being built in Selly Oak, which could result in longer, unnecessary commutes for students as they are forced out of the hub.
Andrew Scholfield, a member of the Community Partnership for Selly Oak, said: “The Bournbrook neighbourhood resembles a third world shanty town.
“Rubbish strewn across the streets, overcrowded, run-down houses with peeling paint and mildewed curtains.
“Front yards strewn with mattresses and Amazonian back gardens chocked with brambles.
“We don’t blame the students, this is the nature of short-term rented accommodation with negligent absentee landlords.”
Local Councillor, Fiona Williams of Hodge Hill, said: “If this carries on Bournbrook is going to become Britain’s first favela.”
However, the Guild has criticised the plans as a possible act of discrimination and has warned that the initiative may only ghettoise Selly Oak further.
And enraged students are fed up of being blamed for the situation, opting to launch a petition against Article Four in the hope their voices will be heard.
Speaking in support of the petition, student Abbie Priestly, said: “It’s unfair to attempt to control how many people students live with and where they live simply because they are students.”
Fellow second year student, Hattie Walters raised similar concerns over the availability of student accommodation in the future.
“When I was a first year I was forced to find last minute accommodation in Selly Oak due to the lack of available first-year halls.
“If the Council follows through with its plans, find accommodation may not only be highly stressful, but also impossible.”
The council declined to comment when approached by The Tab.