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Councillors pass direction in landslide to reduce student housing

Monday, 7 November, 2011 1 comment

Hillingdon Council have passed new legislation which will see student housing drastically reduced in the Uxbridge South and Brunel wards.

Hillingdon Council targets students, but will renting families be hit? Credit: ktylerconk, Flickr.

The new legislation, an Article 4 direction, means landlords will have to apply for planning application on houses with three or more occupants.

Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act allows authorities to require planning permission for things that would normally be permitted to an individual regarding their private property. Up to now, converting a house to HMO did not require permission.

The new legislation means the landlords will have to seek planning permission for any such changes; however, it will not come into effect for another 12 months.

Currently the area has 562 HMOs in the Uxbridge South and Brunel wards alone. Roads dominated by student housing include Barchester Close, Lodge Close, The Greenway, Derby Road and Hinton Road, in the Uxbridge South ward, and Bosanquet Close and Peachey Lane in Brunel ward.

Cllr Keith Burrows (Conservative), cabinet member for planning said: “This is no way an attack on students or Brunel. We regard Brunel as strong partners of ours. We have had enough of our community being split.”

Since 2006 there have been over 400 complaints about HMOs in the Hillingdon area, including complaints about anti-social behaviour and parking problems.

Cllr Mo Khursheed (Labour) supported the motion, but suggested that it did not cover a large enough area. He said: “To save any further delay, this movement should serve other wards. We act when were able to act to protect our residents and we will move forward with a clear planning process.”

The movement will ensure the protection of long term residents and their homes; however it could be seen as sending a message to students that they are not welcome in the area.

A number of other large University cities have taken advantage of recent changes in planning regulations and at least eleven towns and cities have had Article 4 directions initiated by local authorities. Manchester and Portsmouth have already passed their 12 month period of notice and are now in full effect.

It is not known what effect the Article 4 direction will have on families and working households (e.g. flatshares) comprising more than three people.

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Brunel graduate’s bracelets for Brittle Bones

Wednesday, 7 September, 2011 Leave a comment

A Brunel University graduate who set up an online jewellery shop to help pay off her student debts has been donating part of her earnings to the Brittle Bone Society.

Founded in Dundee in 1968, the Brittle Bone Society is the only UK wide organisation providing support to people affected by the bone condition Osteogenesis Imperfecta or Brittle Bones.  They are a membership-based organisation offering help and support to members. 

Tasha Shackell, 22, who graduated from the Uxbridge-based university in July, was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. She regularly raises money for the Society through fundraisers such as book stalls, christmas markets and carnivals. When she set up her own online shop, she saw an opportunity to help the society even more:

“I started off doing card and jewellery making in my spare time as a hobby but then my friends recommended I sell my products as they are of a high quality, so I started selling products last summer and still do today. I love making these creations and would love to share my jewellery and cards with other people”.

Hoping to pursue a career in psychology, Tasha makes most of her cards and jewellery to order, so it is custom made to the exact specification of her clients: “I had the idea that I would donate some of my earnings from my crafts to the charity so a percentage of anything my customers buy goes to a great cause!”.Tasha is hoping to continue making jewellery and supporting other people with Osteogenisis Imperfecta through her donations. You can visit her website by clicking here.