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April 2004
No room for students?
students
Students drinking at a bar

What's the best way to house students in a thriving university community - a chance to have your say.

SEE ALSO
Groundswell
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On Monday, 10th May 2004 a meeting's being held to discuss the best way to house students in a thriving university city.

The meeting's come about as residents in Lenton and other popular student areas have raised concerns about being overrun.

Do you think there is a problem? Do students and residents mix well? What do you think could be done to allay locals fears?

The meeting will follow the BBC's Question Time format with questions from the floor raised with a panel.

The panel will include Alan Simpson - MP for Nottingham South, Maya Fletcher - chair of the Nottingham Action Group on Houses of Multiple-Occupancy as well as a representive from the student community and from the University of Nottingham.

The meeting is to be chaired by BBC Radio Nottingham's Alex Trelinski and will be aired on his programme between 9am and 12 noon (95.5 and 103.8FM) the next day.

The Groundswell meeting is taking place at St Mary's Church Hall, Wollaton Hall Drive, Wollaton (opposite the QMC) at 7.30pm on Monday, 10th May 2004. Admission is free.

If you cannot make the meeting but would like your questions put to the panel then tell us...

Questions to the panel

Anon
I'm a student and have lived in Lenton for a year. It's a great place to live, the local residents are friendly and accommodating. House prices are quite expensive but definitely worth it! Perfect placement in between Campus and centre of town. One can always expect a few thefts here and there in a student area of any city. I hope students and residence will continue to share this wonderful area of a rocking city for many years to come! Long live Lenton!!

Jimmy
I've been a student at Trent several years ago and have lived in Clifton, Bridgford, Hyson Green and Radford. Having found Radford to be most suited at this time to me I have been here for some 5 years. Its a great area and the community spirt and ethnic diversity is great. Your only rule is to treat everyone with respect and you'll never find any trouble. If you read some of the students coments above it's shocking the way they describe themselves as a cut above the locals - get out of our city i say to them. Come here with an open mind, come and live here, its not some holiday camp where you can come and trash for term and then leave, its a real city where real people live. Perhaps if you stopped here for even a couple of weeks after term ended you might realise there's another great city there you've never even seen.

Thomas
I agree with most of the above comments, the issue of studentification in Nottingham is very problematic. I visited a friend who is studying at the University of Nottingham and lives in Lenton and I feel sorry for the non-student residents because they are completely out-numbered by 18 - 21 year olds. The high number of students living in Lenton results in several negative situations such as the piles of rubbish overflowing from wheelie bins due to, for example, houses of about 6 students owning only 1 bin, this is not only unsightly but is a major health hazard as it attracts a variety of vermin to the area. The amount of noise the students make late at night/early morning especially on a Friday and Saturday night is totally unbearable. I remember being woken up about 3 times a night by the sounds of drunken students at about 3 o’clock / 4 o’clock in the morning singing and shouting at the tops of their voices, vomiting and playing football in the middle of the street! I sympathise for the residents who have to cope with this every weekend. My friend informed me that a major gripe of the non-student residents is the lack of parking space. The problem is due to the fact that most of the housing in Lenton consists of terraced housing with no off-street parking hence there is a common problem whereby for example, 5 students who all own cars live in a terraced house with only one parking space in front of the house and as a result of this, there is a severe lack of parking space within Lenton. Also, I was astonished by the number of students that own cars and not talking about old bangers. Some of the students were driving Audi's, BMW's and Mercedes!!!!! Where on earth do they get the money to buy and maintain these cars? I believe, it's too late to stop the continuing decline of Lenton as the majority of students' simply don't care about the problems facing the non-students residents. From my experience of my visit most of the students in Lenton only cared about: 1) Wearing designing clothes; 2) Driving expensive cars; 3) Getting drunk on a Friday and Saturday night. The responsibility of improving the quality of life in Lenton lies in the hands of the students' because they are the dominant social group within the area. Unless, the students of Lenton change their ‘’me, me, me’’ attitude, the town vs. gown problems will only get worse.

Emma
I studied for three years at Nottingham Trent University and during this time lived in Halls near Forest Road and houses in Hyson Green and near the Arboretum. During this time I enjoyed living in the city and got on well with the local inhabitants of the places I lived. After finishing university I moved to Lenton, where I have lived for two years. I don't know if it is because I am no longer at uni myself that I notice it more, or if it is simply that there are more students in the area I am now living in than where I have been previously, but I am becoming more and more aware of the way that students ruin what could be pleasant communities. I am sure that it is not just the student's fault and the demand for student housing leads to greedy lanlords buying up houses without bothering to maintain them well, leading to these areas looking scruffy and run-down. However, students have a responsibility to their community as well. I have had to move recently after being kept awake late at night by students shouting, kicking over bins and even vomiting outside my house. Now, it wasn't long since I was at uni, and I understand that getting wasted is all part of student life. But they should remember that other people where they live have to work, and in some cases have young families, who are affected by this behaviour. Another problem is with parking. i was shocked when I moved to Lenton by how many students have cars. I also disagree that all student property is unfit to live in, I lived in quite nice accommodation during my time at uni, at resonable prices. However, it seems to me that, unlike Trent students who are based in the city and so interact with it a lot more, Nottingham students often seem scared to venture out of Lenton. If you did, I'm sure you would find much better accommodation. Also, you cannot really blame lanlords for charging extortionate rent, when students are willing to pay £70 a week for a room in a 7 bedroom house in Lenton, rather than look about elsewhere in the city. Nottingham is a great city with a lot to offer. Nottingham students should take advantage of this and try to become part of the local community, rather than isolating themselves and feeling victimised.

George
Carl: You'd think that if you were going to make a comment about students not being able to spell, you would at least spell correctly yourself. And if you can't figure out your mistake, it was: "this comments."

Anon
As a student resident in Lenton ive come to learn 3 main things...the majority of nottingham is a s**t hole, lenton in particular is worse and the local residents in lenton are far from savoury characters......cant wait to get out, im moving to the Park..unlucky :)

sweetdreams
I am currently looking for accommodation in Nottingham as I travel in daily and am tired of the 2 hour train journey. I have been looking for 2 months for somewhere to stay but the halls are all full or miles away from the city. Most of the houses are in really shady parts of the city with accommodation that not even a dog would sleep in. Where are we all supposed to go?

Kate
I'm living as a student in dunkirk, and all i can say is that I can't wait until I move out next year. The kids in the area are already in destructive mode, and i can't help but think of the dramatic increase in crime there will be in the next few years as they get older when verbally abusing students turns into physical abuse and burglary, because they have it set into their heads that its ok as the victims are only students.

Sarah J
I'm a student at Notts Uni and live in the lenton area of nottingham. Having been here over the summer as well I can say that I consider Lenton in term time a much safer place. Because students are always out and about there is always someone out on the streets. Over the summer I was reluctant to walk out to my job on campus at night, because you got "gangs" of 15-18 yr olds hanging around "owning the streets". Now the students are back we all look out for each other. Its much better when there are people around. And as for the local non-student residents. We live on a non student street, and the noises from the adjacent houses as less than any student house i've heard. it aint all the fault of the students

Anon
I live in a rather nice area of Nottingham. Next door was purchased by the father of a student for him to live in whilst studying at the University of Nottingham. I found the chap concerned and his companions (who rented various rooms) some of the nicest people I have ever lived next door to. My husband and I and our child were rather dubious at the thought of students living next door but I am pleased to say that all my misconceptions were exactly that. I have had various neigbours over the years, some of which would like to think of themselves as intelligent members of society and a cut above the rest. I have to say that these so called intellectuals are some of the most badly behaved, selfish, inconsiderate morons I have ever had the misfortune to meet. The students however were lovely and not the typical coming home drunk, throwing up over the fence, loud music playing yobs I thought they would be. They were quiet, considerate and very helpful. Please do not steriotype people into little pigeon holes. Treat each person as you find them and get to know people before forming an opinion.

Chaz
Nottingham Uni should buy the 'Park' and house all the 2nd and 3rd year students here. Shotgun 'Ravine House'

Anon
I lost all respect for the locals when my house was broken into before I even moved in and the first Christmas. All my neighbours were other students, so thats a moot point, but faced with the attitudes of some locals immediately assuming "student scum", it's not suprising most students have no respect for the local residents. Lenton is redeemed by Wok U Like though.

Caresa(Trent student)
I can see the point of both the long-term residents of Nottingham and the students. However, i believe that some comments from the students were, petty. I believe that Nottingham is a great city and most of the people i've met tend to be quite nice. To blame us students for all the anti-social behaviour in these communities is not only unfair, it is scape-goating. I lived in Radford for two years and i found that the majority of anti-social behavior was committed by locals, not students. To say that students moving into these inner city areas is reducing house prices is totall unfair. Students tend to look for accommodation they can afford which usually means moving into areas that are already over-populated with students. I think residents should remember that most businesses in Nottingham rely on the income that students generate and a lot of businesses would close down if students decided to stop attending university in Nottingham. I think students and residents should be looking at working together to solve the problem instead of blaming each other. I would hate to see Nottingham become like other cities where residents hate students so much that we are assualted for the simple fact that we are students. You shouldn't be blaming us for wanting to improve and better ourselves as individuals, university is the one chance that some of us have to interact with other cultures and individuals. Please don't tarnish what little hope we leave home with, remember it is our first time away from home we make mistakes but we mature and learn from them and don't forget one day your children will be doing the same. Would you want them to be scape-goated for housing problems in the city they study in?

Denno
The problem is not the students as such, it's the associated crime problems, and the delapidation of certain properties allowed by lzx landlords. I don't think more halls is the answer - the campus is already being rapidlly eaten up with new academic (not accomodation) facilites. Also, much of the land is unsuitable for large buildings (the downs are too hilly) The government really needs to provide more housing across the board, especially affordable housing, for both students and everyone else on lower budgets

Carl
This is not a comment about housing;having just read through this comments I was amazed at the amount of university students who can't spell.

Anon
Perhaps the problem is a larger social problem in the UK and is not just to do with Nottingham. Where else in the world except the UK do you find a significant percentage of 18/19 year-olds off to live on their own away from their families (and the accompanying 'rules'). Perhaps a year or two more at home and going to a LOCAL university would increase the maturity level of the average student who currently wants to go away from home - not to study, but to party!

Marie
Please do not tarnish all students with the same brush. Most of the comments on here are huge generalisations & I find them extremely offensive.

anon
do remember that students moving into an area increase property values. Landlords are prepared to pay ridiculous prices for properties around Lenton, Arboretum, Sneinton, St. Anns, etc. Nottingham City Council seem to attack owners of properties suitable for students imposing all sorts of rules and regulations. If one walks around St. Anns where the majority of properties areowned by the Local Authority there you will see unkemp properties!!

Girl
I was considering moving to Nottingham in September for a college course and now I'm not so sure! I don't qualify for University accommodation so Lenton was suggested to me as a place to stay...I've heard so many negative things now, I think I'll change my mind

dave carlton
Your dead right the uni could build more halls. You only have to look at where the uni wanted the tram line to beeston to go to see their attitude, they wanted to take all the private gardens on Green field road to maximise Uni parking rather than let the tram run by the arts centre. They dont give a stuff about all the locals.

Sally
I don't think any right minded Nottingham resident would suggest that having two successful universities is a bad thing, but we can't allow them to dominate the city entirely and in a growing number of areas this is the situation. I feel particularly grieved about the area around Middleton Boulevard "the white bungalows". This is a lovely part of the city, with accommodation ideally designed for elderly and disabled people. Many families live there too. However gradually it is becoming an extension of studentville, which is wholly inappropriate. Most of the residents are there specifically for a quiet life, and the growing influx of students can only cause untold damage to that environment. For areas like this it is vital that legislation is introduced to limit the number of houses in multiple occupancy, because at present they would not be protected under the proposed legislation.

Clever Dave
To Sarah Maybe we are referring to very different parts of Lenton but I would never say that Lenton could have been a 'nice middle class suburb'. The housing is at best average. What family in their right mind would ever choose to live here. Its a crime ridden hell hole, much like the rest of Nottingham. I'd like to also inform you that i'm getting a first in economics and as for social theory that sounds like a trent course to me. I must be off, someone's trying to break into my car.

Sarah
Lenton was once a nice mainly middle class suburb. The displacement of owner-occupiers by students leaves a student majority surrounded by the socially immobile who will naturally feel resentful towards the students. Either Nottingham Uni is teaching very poor economics and social theory to its students or the students who complain that Lenton is just full of poor residents with problems are just too dumb to see their part in causing this. Every suburb needs a balance of people. Lenton, Beeston and West Bridgeford will be slums in future years if something is not done to reverse the decline.

Anon
I'm a resident of Beeston, currently away at Keele University. Here there is not the same problem as first and third years are ALL guarrenteed campus accommodation and about half of second years get campus too. Therefore there is not many students having to 'live out'. (The problem this causes is a lack of student accommodation - I still have nowhere to live in Sep) However, there is a problem nearby in Stoke near Staffs Uni - locals don't like students. I can see both sides of the arg - but I do not understand why Nottingham (if not Trent) can't build more halls as the campus is massive. Dare I say it, but part of this is a class war. Lenton / Dunkirk (and most student housing areas in most towns) are working class areas and in my opinion this causes problems as the residents feel that the students look down on them and they have different values. The majority of students are nice, kind and considerate. Yes they make a lot of rubbish, but as mentioned, there's often 6 people in a house built for 4! (solution - council provide more bins please for multi-occupancy households)

Party Boy
Local residents should get involved. Also. IF foxes do their stuff dont blame thee students. We aren't foxes. Apart from a few fitties. Aight

Clever Dave
I accept that alot of students are a hasle. Many come from public schools and think that the fact that they've been on a gap year makes them god and they can treat people as rudely and be as arrogant as they wish. However, in general I would say that the student population of Lenton is not too bad. Why can't the local residents face facts and see that if it wasnt for the students (who maybe play their music too loud and cause a bit of damage here and there)then Lenton would be inhabited with low income and low intelligent life forms. Crime would soar and the 'community' would be all the worse for it. On my road it's the local residents who cause most of the damage. Stop shifting blame on the students. Good day

Richard
I'd like to echo some of the comments already made here. I live in West Bridgford and have noticed in recent years, when houses in my locality go on the market, they are quickly snapped up and almost immediately the 'student let' board goes up. The front gardens are bulldozed down and covered in hardcore for car parking, a crowd of people move in and night-time noise levels & vandalism rise. Having been stung with negative equity when I last moved house ten years ago, I now face the prospect of the value of my current home falling as the neighbourhood gradually falls apart around me. The landlords clearly have no interest in maintaining the properties while they milk as much cash as they can out of the tenants and, indirectly, the neigbourhood itself. Could this be part of a larger picture:- refurbishment of the inner cities into million pound apartments, the well-off move to the country, while the traditional family suburbs decline into slums?

Sarah Wint
We have to get over this lie that the University of Nottingham can't build more accommodation on campus because they are not cost-effective and there is no room. The campus is expansive and has a variety of sports fields that could be used for student villages. We also know that if the "landlord barons" make a small killing from accommodation then the University could do likewise. The only reason the University has refused to build more (other than annoying residents of Broadgate by additional development) is that it sees itself as some yuppy university which must keep open fields to attract the independent school applicants. tuition fees

Anon
in reply to Arthur's comments - i could graduate and buy a house in Lenton, or i could graduate and buy a house in a nice part of a nicer city

Arthur Piper (Lenton Resident)
I have been a resident of Lenton for two years and I understand the concerns of those who have lived here for twenty years or more and seen their community start to break up by an influx of students. Apart from some anti-social behaviour, the long-term affects of this situation is the closure of local ammenities, such as schools, shops and now the swimming pool. It is hard to replace these facilities once they have disappeared. Individually students are not to blame for this, but that is the collective impact on the area of a sharp reduction in the number of long-term residents. I would like to encourage those students who enjoy living in Lenton to stay once they have graduated and got jobs. Three working graduates could afford to buy a decent-sized house in the local area to renovate and live in. Lenton needs young people to secure its future - and students who become long-term residents could help fulfil that role.

Natalie
I find this entire situation funny. We are complaining about the ghettoization of Lenton from an area where families are to a ghetto of students. The ethnic make up of Lenton prior to the influx of students was, I have been reliably informed, afro-carribean and indian/pakistani. Does anyone else think that this constitutes a ghetto of one socio-economic group? The problem is that there is no in between. Those in Lenton feel displaced because their society has been broken up by new comers. If there is a lesson that needs to be learnt, especially in the light of the "alleged" influx of Eastern Europeans is that the only way forward is intergration. Those who live in areas of predominently one socio-economic group should make an effort to open their doors to new comers (no matter their background) and those who are being welcomed should make an effort to fit into the surrounding community and not change it to how they want it.

Jimmay
George, although I am a student, I feel I should defend lecturers here. It is simply rediculas to suggest that lecturers are incapable of maintaining a property. If this rule were to be brought in for lectueres, then should we also put sanctions on where nurses live? Lenton is loacated right by QMC, and there are a fair number of nurses who live in the locality. They also earn far less than lecturers. The student debate is a unique one, we cannot function as a society correctly if people are limited on their choice of living based upon their profession. What you are suggesting is to segregate society based on class and income. What next? Gated communities with security guards. What a load of rubbish!

Timmay
Clearly there are too many students entering into an already saturated city. Maybe the government should review their policies of pushing everyone into higher education. Ending up with armies of media studies students destined for mcDonalds just doesnt seem sensible. They could've gone to a poly (when they really were polys) to learn a trade, earn a good wage (plumbers and brick layers tend to earn far more than achademics) and improve on the problem in this country of a lack of trademen. The other advantage I see here, other than giving some worth back to the title of 'a degree', is that a trademan (or woman) probably could keep up the repairs on their OWN house.

George Chetwin-carter
There is an additional aspect to this issue that has not been explored. The growth in the city’s two universities has result in large parts of Nottingham becoming lecturer ghettos. These people have middle class pretensions but normally lack the disposable income of students. They tend to avoid the council estate parts of the city but do not have the income to keep properties in places like Wollaton and West Bridgford up to scratch. Consequently, these areas are going into decline without seeing the benefit of extra late night takeaways etc found in the student areas. The relevant councils ought to be given the power to place a limit on the number of lecturers moving into an area.

Karl
I've a couple of points to make here. First, whilst the university can't be responsible for the behaviour of students, it does let its off campus members down greatly once they leave hall. I get the feeling that once the uni isn't taking your money from hall fees, then it's not interested in student welfare. Having been here 4 years now, the rent hikes I have seen in Lenton are ridiculous, and I see no reason why the university could not get involved. From that point of view, I can see why some students don't feel particularly enamoured with their houses. When between you you're paying £1500 a month, and your landlord won't even get you a new toilet seat, it's no wonder. Secondly, I feel inclined to defend students being a student myself. However, I find myself agreeing with a lot of what locals say - a lot of students are noisy, inconsiderate (my neighbours annoy me!) and generally disrespectful. Ok, so not only students are idiots, every social group has idiots in it. BUT as students, we just waltz into (usually) Lenton, after a cushy year on campus, shack up in our new place, and more often than not think that we own the place. Students have a responsibility to show courtesy to their neighbours, who may have been there for some time. I can understand why residents would see students as unapproachable - a lot of us aren't that bad. I also find the comment about "residents should look at the behaviour of their own children before criticising others" a bit unfair. Surely this is the kind of atitude that is causing the problem in the first place?

Richard
As a former student of Nottingham who lived in Lenton for two years and now a resident of Nottingham in a 'student area' (Sneinton) I think I can appreciate both sides of the argument. I believe that many residents in areas such as Lenton do really suffer from the influx of students during term time, but I am reluctant to shove all the blame onto the students. Obviously some student households are a pain, my street in Lenton had terrible parking problems, loud music at night, and a general lack of consideration for other residents, it goes without saying that not all students are like this. Studentys get a pretty poor deal as well, 7 people living in a poorly maintained house designed for 4 is pretty ridiculous and some fairly ruthless landlords out there too, I kow from experience. Personally I would like to see the University take more of an active role in resolving this issue, at the moment I get the impression that they take virtually no responsibilty. The issue of student housing requires some form of regulation, perhaps by a partnership of local residents, university representatives, students, Council Officers, and others (RSLs, Police?). This way all of the parties could meet to establish some sensible and mutual solutions and ground rules: limits to the number of students living in an area, limits on number of cars per households, basic behavioural ground rules that identify what is and isn't acceptable (patronising? maybe but it could work, joint crime reduction forums would beneift both students and residents. If the affected groups and organisations can start communicating with one another then they can work towards some common solutions that would greatly improve the situation. If som eaction isn't taken soon then the consequences could be pretty dire.

Robert.
To maria - Nottingham does not deserve our respect, it is a bum city with no character at all and far too many social problems. Cant wait to leave.

David
Lets face it, the situation we have in lenton at the moment is economically mutually beneficial for both residents and students. As students, we have certain needs, i.e. taxis, late night fast food joints, etc. This need thus creates employment for the residents of the area and thus prevents what could become an unemployment problem. At this moment in time we are a needed part of the community due to the large amount of spare cash we all have to spend. Further, the biggest lack of respect in the area comes from the local children, around 10ish who not only throw eggs at passers by (as experienced by me) but are also uninhibited in their use of abuse and desire to vandalise anything "student". We do not set out to cause hassle to people and our thoughtlessness can be, at times, a problem. However, I think residents shoudl look at the behaviour of their own children before criticising others.

Timmay (Student in Lenton)
There's no excuse for ignorance and rudeness, granted, however I feel the problem (in Lenton at least) is bred from a mutual lack of repect. I am sure there are plenty of decent residents in Lenton just as there are many decent students both of which parties are not the problem. It's the abundance of drug dealers, tramps and thieves in the area which feed the disrespect students have for their surroundings. When 2 'local residents' (as I'm told by the police) ran off with my much loved CD collection, they took my respect for the area too!

Nick
Tarnishing all students with the same brush is not correct. not all students are messy. i lived in beeston last year; yes we did have parties, but only at Christmas and BBQs in summer, like every other house. we informed AND invited our neighbours to the party! we cut our lawn, we put our rubbish out when expected - our neighbours even trusted us as an emergency contact when they went on holiday. Agreed, some students are messy and loud - but some non-students are equally messy and loud. both sets of neighbours, students or not, should try harder to talk - if there is a problem, talk about it, dont just moan to yourself.

Maria
West Bridgford has it#s fair share of dishevelled properties and badly behaved students. Just because the area is pretty and affluent does not give students a right to impose their bad behaviour on the residents. Taxis arriving at 3 in the morning, five cars parked outside the house taking up other peoples spaces, untidy houses, gardens and manners! I would like to think that to get a university place would at least mean that some decent standards of behaviour would be present, sadly I have found out to the contrary. If students want a fair deal, then smarten yourselves up a bit and behave like you deserve to live in Nottingham!

Miss Phillips
Yes there is a student problem and I have lived next door to one for the best part of twenty years! Very rarely did we get a decent lot who actually said hello and gave us the time of day. The rest were simply ignorant, untidy, downright rude and had no clue about neighbourliness. I can fully appreciate the argument that emotions need to be left outside of the discussion for a solution to be found, but it is hardly fair to hear how badly off students are all the time without hearing the flipside of the coin and let aggrieved neighbours have their say also. What needs to be done is for the landlords to be licensed, fairly taxed on their income to curb the growth of these hideous doss houses at times, and that these properties be viewed as businesses and the landlords dealt with accordingly. If students can tell me they can not help the way they behave because the house they live in is a tip, then why not have some standards set and imposed on these landlords? Also I agree with the lady whose mother has poor health, aftre asking politely to keep incessant noise down the inevitable abuse started to stream out. If complaining in a polite manner makes us bourgois as we were accused of, then I would rather be that than have no standards of decency at all!

Sarah Wint
Students are their own worst enemies. They all insist on living in Lenton which means the landlords can rip them off and provide them with sub-standard housing knowing they will always come back for more. I went to Warwick University where all third year students come back on to campus for their final year to live in flatlets in a complex for final year students only. We had our own bar and virtually every student tried to get a shared flat with their friends. They were the ultimate trendy option.

lenton student
Firstly, the university will not build more halls of residence on campus, as there is no space and they are not cost effective. The answer may lie in public private partnerships to build student flats such as those at raleigh park (on triumph road). However, having lived there for a year there is tension between the students and the private companies (such as Derwent) who build the housing and have no regard for the facilities that students need (they are simply out to profit). I am sorry to hear about your situation (I hope i'm not your neighbour!) but can assure you that not all students are that disrespectful, although there is no excuse for their rudeness. As for the condition of their property, that is the fault of the landlord. I think it is unreasonable to expect students to bring a lawn-mower to university. Prehaps if you offered them the use of yours they would not only cut the grass, but might even gain a little extra respect for you and your needs!

Carole
Beeston has not been mentioned in recent debates. I live on Lower Road which is adjacent to the Nottm University campus. Our road used to be a quiet residential street with many families. Over recent years, every time a house goes up for sale it is snapped up by private landlords who immediately ship in 3 or 4 students. The calibre of our street has gone downhill rapidly. Many of the houses are now occupied by students who have absolutely no idea of the concept of keeping properties tidy. Wheelie bins are left permanelty on the pavement, usually overflowing with rubbish and soon attracts the attention of foxes and gets strewn all over the road. The student gardens are left untended and overgrown. Rubbish is strewn on the paths. Filthy curtains (or sometimes blankets) adorn the windows. Who would want to live next door to this? Landlords should be issued with a licence which is renewed each year by the local council,provided the tenants are behaving themselves and the property has been looked after.

Sylvia
My family has been sharing a wall of a semi-detached house with a student house for over 10 years. Over those years, they have proven to be NOT FIT to live with others in the community. Before the trash bin schemes, the black bin bags full of trash were strewn all over the front garden, the students would not bother to clean up for days! The back garden is overgrown, with trash all over. The students come back late at night, drunk, shouting and yelling, slamming doors and playing music loud without any regard to what time it is. When we ask them to turn it down, we get called names. My mother is an elderly woman, who has a heart condition, and she gets scared, when in the middle of the night, someone starts shouting in drunken stupor. I myself feel my heart pounding and my stress levels go up knowing that there is nothing I can do to shut them up! Who is going to give my mother her health back, which she's lost dealing with these anti-social terrorists?! Who is going to give us all those sleepless nights we've had to endure? We've put the house on the market briefly, and found out that the students next-door have actually dragged the price of our house down, and no family wants to live next to them. Identical house on our street, a one that does not share a wall with a student house, was sold quickly and at excellent price. We, on the other hand, are either stuck with the noisy students or we sell at loss. How fair is that?

Tom
Many people at the debate seemed to think the answer to the problem would be for the university to build more halls of residence on the campus. Being a student, my experience is that most students simply do not want to live in halls of residence for more than their first year, which at present almost everyone does. There may be an argument to build more halls of residence to accomodate the increasing numbers of new students, but I just cannot see significant numbers of second year and older students chosing to live in halls rather than in houses.

Anon
People now recognise that certain areas of Nottingham are affected by higher concentrations of students but this is part of a national problem whereby central government has set targets for educational institutions to reach whilst not providing the framework within which successful integration can happen. Whilst noting that a small number of students actually cause major disruptions, there is a need for attitudes to change. Where students are continually told that they are an annoyance and an unwanted part of the towns in which they live and study because of a variety of reasons e.g. not having to pay council tax, transient population who allegedly don't care to name but a few, the current negative talk which is all around does not help to improve the situation. It's a bit like telling a child that they're no good-if you say it for long enough and demoralise them then they really believe what they are told and have no incentive to change the way they are or how they do things. Unfortunately, this is the current state of the town vs. gown issue in many university cities. Until parties from accross the board can leave their grudges and emotion at the door before holding discussions with local authorities, students, universities etc, then there is very little chance of progression towards improving the situation.

Roger Mean
Do you think the negative attitude of the Nottingham Evening Post ('Towns vs Gowns) about this issue is having an effect on the debate.

Anon (student living in Lenton)
The main problem is the location of Nottingham Uni. With the tennis centre to the south, and Bramcote and Wollaton to the north (both of which are too expensive for students to afford), that leaves Lenton/Dunkirk and Beeston. More regulations need to be put in place regarding HMOs, particulary with regard to Landlords who charge ridiculous rents for falling down houses and so boost house prices to levels where local families cannot afford them. Locals need to remeber that students do help the city's economy, and also many contribute to their community by getting involved with schools or local voluntary organisations but equally students need to remember that if they want to feel welcome in a new area they have to make the effort to become involved in the community. The Uni and voluntary organisations make this very easy to do. It's all very well saying 'imagine it was your son or daughter', but what if it was your home town? We also need to remember that it's both locals and students who live in fear of criminals attracted to the area by all the HMOs, and so this enforces the view that more regulations regarding these need to be put in place

Derek
Mixed communities are a good thing. The problems usually associated with a high student population are not limited just to students. (I live in St Annes in some very thin-walled terraced houses, and my current student neighbours are much more pleasant than the previous non-student tenants.) The concerns people have would be allayed if "trivial" offences (anti-social behaviour, noise etc) were given as much attention by the authorities as higher-profile crimes.

Anonymous
I live in West Bridgford and have had students as neighbours for 4 years. My children often have problems sleeping due to loud music and noise made by the students at unreasonable hours. When approached and asked to keep the noise down, most of the time I have received apologies and more considerate behaviour, but on occassion I have had abuse screammed at me and music volumes increased. I have no problem with students making as much noise as they like at weekends, but please not in a residential area during the week when the rest of us have work and our kids have school. : )))

Rich
The situation in Lenton (and to a lesser extent Radford Forest Fields) is certainly problematic for the non-student residents and I sympathise with them. Though any blame cannot be wholly attributed to students. I feel that some reasonable limits to the number of students who can occupy an area need to be enforced in areas such as Lenton. How about more purpose built self contained flats built by RSLs specifically for students, the ones in Canning Circus seem to be successful.

anon
lenton is a problem - but not the students! it is the locals, and the constant fear of crime. the students actually help to rejuvinate areas like Lenton. although students in Lenton can be a pain at times, the locals are just as much, if not more to blame

Anon
There is a definate problem, although I don't think students are directly to blame. Students in Lenton live in fear of crime and being ripped off by landlords. We must also remember that house prices in Lenton have risen dramatically, largly due to students boosting the economy. I admit that we can be a pain at times, but would your opinions differ if your son or daughter were put in our situation?


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