Student Halls

Two separate developers are bringing forward proposals for large student halls in the Selly Oak Village area. CP4SO are opposed to both these developments. You can find out why below.

Elliot Rd: Watkin Jones are proposing a 526 room hall of residence on Elliot Rd (Just behind Lookers garage). 

Thanks to public pressure the maximum height and total number of bedrooms has been reduced since the plans were first presented to the public. This application has now been presented to Birmingham City Council.

You can  view the plans and make formal comments for consideration by the Planning Committee here using planning reference 2020/00376/PA. Or you can send written comments to Planning and Development, PO Box 28, Birmingham B1 1TU quoting the same planing reference number. Comments are due by 20th Feb 2020.

You can read our concerns regarding this development here.


Triangle Site: Hines are proposing a 1200 room hall of residence on the Triangle Site (old Sainsbury's). 

Please write to our MP Steve McCabe and our local Councillors. Click here for guidance on letter writing.

And sign our petition here: (link does not work in Firefox)

Hines have conducted an initial workshop session with 'close neighbours' of the site and are proposing further public consultations in November. You can write to their agent here:

You can also sign a positively worded petition regarding this site here: (link does not work in Firefox)

Why do CP4SO oppose these developments?
Both developers claim that their provision will reduce the demand for Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in Selly Oak / Bournbrook and improve derelict brown field sites by providing sustainable student housing to meet the demands of students at the University of Birmingham. Both note that universities in the city only provide accommodation in halls of residence for a fraction of their students.

  • No student in the city is currently homeless. 
  • Demographic and economic changes suggest that the student population is unlikely to increase in the medium term.
  • There are already clear signs of falling demand for HMOs.
  • Therefore these 1700 new student bedrooms will either:
  1. Be filled by students who would otherwise be living in existing HMOs in Selly Oak (emptying existing rather than preventing new HMOs) or,
  2. Pull-in students from other universities in the city who might otherwise have lived in HMOs in Erdington, Aston and other areas to the north of the city.
  • It is highly unlikely that existing HMOs will revert to family accommodation. Landlords used to high student rents will not be willing to reduce their income by letting to families or selling up, and in any case many HMOs have had unsympathetic conversions leaving no garden space.
  • We are already seeing student HMOs being converted to Supported Housing. Supported Houses are essentially mini hostels for the homeless. Rent and fees for additional support is paid direct to the landlord. It is a very lucrative business. Landlords are supposed to provide support to enable adults with complex needs (such as addiction, mental health and learning disability) to find permanent accommodation and employment. In practice very little if any of the promised support is provided to these individuals who are essentially left to fend for themselves in overcrowded accommodation.
  • 1700 Bedrooms could empty around 300 of the area's 1400 HMOs.
  • We do not think it good for anyone concerned to a have a high concentration of student houses mixed in with a high concentration of Supported Housing.
  • In any case, Bournbrook is already saturated with HMOs and the Article 4 declaration for Selly Oak and Harborne protects the remaining parts of the district from increased HMO density.
  • Under the alternative scenario that these halls pull in students from other parts of the city Selly Oak will increasingly become "The Student Village" for the whole of Birmingham. Shops and facilities at the upper end of the high street will become increasingly student focused and this will pull in yet more students from across the city to fill the released capacity in HMOs. 
  • We already see large numbers of students from Aston University and Birmingham City University using the Cross City Line and 61/63 bus routes.