The present amount of student housing in the immediate area is less than 20 per cent, meeting the Charnwood Borough Council’s current guidelines.
The Loughborough Echo has reported that the Storer and Ashby Road Resident’s Group’s (SARG) Russ Bowman has claimed that the Managing Student Occupancy Scrutiny Panel is considering changing its guidelines, consequentially halving the number of student housing in the area reduced to 10 per cent. However, this is only a suggestion for the moment.
121 Hermitage Road in Loughborough was granted change only last week, to turn it into a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), this means it can allow four to six residents live there with different surnames. It was given the all clear from the Charnwood Borough Council but the authority’s planning committee objected to the proposal.
Mr Bowman claims: “We want to prevent whole areas becoming like the ones suffering the same problems with noise and anti-social behaviour.” Agreeing with Bowman, Counsellor Julie Bradshaw said: “Houses need to be around for families, not for students.”
But, Counsellor Ken Pacey argued against the suggestion of HMOS being halved from 20 per cent to 10 per cent, sticking up for us students. He claims: “This is a university town. We talk about students like they’re something from out of space – as if they shouldn’t be here. It makes me so angry.”
I wanted to get a student’s point of view about the situation, Joe Moyes, psychology finalist at Loughborough University said: “I believe the majority of students do not reflect badly on the student population, but housing has to be available for students, it is a university town. People should think about the amount of money the university and students bring to the local area. However, I do understand that noise and anti-social behaviour levels need be addressed, because at the end of the day it is a small community and we don’t want to be against each other.”
Louise and Linda who are my neighbours have been living next to a student house for three years and said: “we have never had a problem with living next to students” I also asked them whether they agreed with Counsellor Julie Bradshaw statement about “housing being for students”. Linda replied with: “I do not agree with that at all.” We then discussed the benefits and skills students gain from living independently in a house and becoming part of the community, for example: “Students have to learn social skills such as being people’s neighbours”. This shows that not every local in Loughborough has a negative view of students living within the community. So it is not all doom and gloom.
A spokesperson for the Charnwood Borough Council said: “The Managing Student Occupancy Scrutiny Panel will produce a final report to the security management board early in the New Year, and if approved, will go before cabinet.” Watch this space to find out the final result to this dispute.