Student housing consultation in Exeter

A consultation has started in Exeter about the number of properties being used as student houses.

Exeter City Council wants to address concerns about the number of shared houses in certain areas.

The council said it was proposing to restrict house owners' development rights to use their property for multiple occupation.

Councillor Rachel Sutton said planning controls were needed to improve "imbalanced communities".

She said: "In some streets up to 80% of properties are entirely occupied by students. In the St James Ward, over a quarter of homes are entirely occupied by students."

Ms Sutton said that the council wanted extra planning powers to ensure the student population was more widely spread.

The proposed restrictions would not be implemented until the end of 2011 and would not affect properties already being used for multiple occupation.

Residents can give their views on the proposals until 3 December.

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