ARBORETUM RESIDENTS' LIVES AFFECTED BY STUDENT HOUSE PARTIES
Student House Parties are 'Destructive' for Families in the Arboretum, Say Residents
Residents have spoken out about student house parties in the Arboretum, which they described as 'destructive' for families living in the area.
The Arboretum Residents’ and Tenants’ Association has complained to Nottingham City Council about recent “disruptive” house parties in Addison Street, but the problem has been going on for years according to one member.
Neil Walker, who has lived on the street for eight years and is a member of the residents’ association, said: “This has been an ongoing problem now for three or four years and it appears to be getting worse. We are in no way anti-student. In fact I moved to the area because I liked the up and coming atmosphere.
“It has now got to the point where we have groups of very noisy and rowdy groups returning home between midnight and 4am with no care in the world for the residents around them who they are waking up.
“We have tried to be patient but the imbalance in our community is destructive of family lives and our once peaceful environment”
The residents association has said that the Arboretum area is made up of working families with young children as well as elderly residents but that increasingly these households have become outnumbered by 'unmonitored' student households.
A spokesman for Nottingham Trent University said he was aware of the concerns raised by the Arboretum Residents’ and Tenants’ Association and he will be discussing these with them at a meeting.
He said: “We work with and support the city council in reducing noise and nuisance behaviour and fund additional patrols specifically in the Arboretum area.
“Any issues raised with us which are believed to involve our students are always taken very seriously. Where students’ actions in the community breach our student code of behaviour we take swift action.
“There have been a small number of noise complaints in this area since the start of the academic year. The university has responded to these immediately and there have been no repeat complaints relating to these addresses.
“Whilst we recognise that complaints will always relate to a minority, we want to ensure that our students are responsible and valued members of the community and take active steps to promote this.
“Our community liaison team, in conjunction with partners including the police, have only very recently visited houses in the Arboretum area, to talk to residents and to remind students of their behavioural expectations.”
Councillor Toby Neal, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community and Customer Services, said that students have a responsibility to be good neighbours.
He said: “Community Protection are aware of a number of noise complaints from residents about students on Addison Street in Arboretum and in one case we will be issuing Community Protection Notice Warnings.
“We are also meeting with local residents to discuss their concerns and working closely with the universities and landlords to get the message across to students that they have a responsibility to their local community to be good neighbours.
“We understand socialising is an important part of student life and the council welcomes students to our city, but we have a duty to all residents and will always take action when antisocial behaviour is having a detrimental effect on people’s lives.”
[Hannah Mitchell, Nottingham Post, Friday 3 Novemvber 2017]
In November 2003, with support from local MPs, well over 100 people from neighbourhoods across the city came together in a meeting with Councillors, senior Council officers, representatives from the two universities (including the Registrar of Nottingham University) and their students' unions, the Police and other organisations. The focus of that meeting was what has become known as 'studentification', and the impact it was having on them, their families, friends and neighbours.
Foremost amongst the reports of problems in these neighbourhoods was the noise and other late-night anti-social behaviour associated student house parties.
That meeting brought about the formation of the Nottingham Action Group on HMOs in February 2004 which, together with similar groups from towns and cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, took the lead of the Leeds HMO Lobby and formed the National HMO Lobby.
At that time it more than ten years since issues around students and their accommodation were first raised - and ignored. If you download the back copies of the NAG Magazine you will see that going on to 25 years later, the issues are the same: more noise, more parties, more degradation of our environment, families' lives disrupted with people's tolerance being tested to breaking point. You will also find that the responses from the universities and students and landlords are the same. One is tempted to say that of course they are since, in the greater scheme of things, the benefits of these neighbourhoods as 'student areas' for the universities, their students, landlords and their agents far outweigh the impact their activities have on long-term residents and the investment they have made, and continue to make, in the future of for themselves and their families.
In the February-March 2005 issue of the NAG Magazine the universities were asked:
"Are you prepared to take responsibility for your students and their accommodation? ... Are you prepared to accept responsibiity for the behaviour of your students and, when necessary, discipline them?"
It is abundantly clear now that the universities are yet to fully accept their responsibiity for the behaviour of their students, and that their disciplinary measures need to change if they are to act as an efficient deterrent to those students who appear to believe that they 'own' these neighbourhoods and, as a consequence, will behave as they want regardless of the impact on others.