PRIVATE student flat developments are “swamping” Glasgow and preventing the building of social housing, an MSP has said. 

Sandra White, Kelvin SNP MSP, said housing associations are priced out of the market as property developers snap up plots to build tower blocks for international students paying premium rents.

Councillors in Glasgow have called for a fresh report to review the provision of student accommodation in the city.

Several large developments in the West End and city centre have met opposition from local people and there is a concern there are too many blocks dominating communities.

The councillors on the neighbourhoods and housing committee said a report prepared by property agents Savills, which encouraged more purpose built student accommodation, was not sufficient enough to inform future decisions.

The latest development causing controversy at high Street will see the demolition of the city’s oldest pub, The Old College Bar.

Ms White said 75% of the blocks were in her constituency.

She said: “ There are absolutely swamping the area. Housing associations are desperate to build but all the land has been bought up by developers. they are then priced out of the market to be able to build decent social housing for families. This is skewing the whole area.”

The councillors said they want to ensure there is a balance of student accommodation with housing for families across the city.  

Greg Hepburn committee convenor, said: “Purpose-built student accommodation are integral to the city’s educational offer. 

“But we need to look at the balance amid increasing public concerns about density, impact on communities, other types of housing tenure, the city’s built heritage and concentration in certain areas.

“This is why the committee has asked for a new report on the purpose-built student accommodation sector to supplement what already exists in our local development plan.”

The Savills report said that purpose-built student accommodation was increasingly recognised as the preferred model for students.

However, the blocks, often with hundreds of bedrooms, are seen by some to be a the expense of traditional communities.

Mr Hepburn said the guidance needs strengthened. He said: “It needs to take on board a broader range of views, including those of universities and students themselves, community voices and expert opinion.”

There are developments with the capacity for another 6000 bedrooms being planned in Glasgow to meet demand.

Christy Mearns, Anderston/City Green councillor, said concerns need to be addressed

She said: “We don’’t want to just rubber stamp more of the same.

“There are issues about the sustainability of accommodation and about people being  pushed out of areas.”