PETITION TO CAP NUMBER OF STUDENT HOMES IN BEESTON
Under the main headline 'Alliance formed to cap number of student homes in "overcrowded" Beeston', Matt Jarram (Nottingham Post, Monday 18 February 2019) wrote:
A number of planning applications have been put in for student beds in the city in recent months
Beeston is becoming overcrowded with student properties and losing its character, according to campaigners.
An alliance has been set up calling on Broxtowe Borough Council to cap the amount of student developments in the town.
Labour Councillor Linda Lally, who has covered Beeston Central for 20 years, has set up a petition.
She is being supported by Liberal Democrat Councillor Steve Carr, who has served the town for 16 years.
She said: "It is not about politics. It's about community and it is being destroyed at a fast pace. Over the last year we are seeing a huge rise in development on every tiny piece of land.
"Down most streets in Beeston we have houses of multiple occupancy. An example is Lower Road where there are four residential houses that are now left on that street and it is even creeping out into Queens Street.
"I am finding that people are worried about their community and sometimes these houses are not let out at certain times of the year, so the gardens and houses are neglected.
"We are not against students and Beeston does need them but what we want is a mix of housing. We don't want to become Dunkirk or Lenton."
She said Broxtowe Borough Council does not have a local policy in place to determine the number of student homes the town can cater for.
Councillor Carr added: "Both ourselves and the Labour Party in regards to Beeston take a similar view that the council should have a local policy on HMOs.
"The city council has stringent licensing on student properties, which is different to Broxtowe.
"We are going to keep pressing for it. It is an alliance on this issue."
Recent developments in Beeston include plans for more than 80 students at a former sheltered housing site in Fletcher Road and plans to turn the former Queen's Hotel into student properties.
Marian Wallwork, 86, is the president of the Beeston and District Civic Society.
She said: "Talking personally, there are far too many of them now and every time a house comes on the market it is taken over my student housing. It is getting vastly overbalanced."
But one business believes that students are bringing money into the town.
Alex Cascales, 40, a chef at coffee shop The Bean in Stoney Street, said: "It is good for business to have the students around because they spend more money than Beeston people.
"Most of the people in Beeston are elderly so they do not spend as much money.
"Restaurants and cafés with WiFi will see students sit down for five or six hours buying coffees and eating."
A spokesman for Broxtowe Borough Council added: "The people of Beeston can create a neighbourhood plan to help shape the nature of planning applications in the area, however they would need to go through the following process in order for the plan to come into effect.
"Apply for Beeston to be designated as a neighbourhood area in line with procedures set out in legislation.
"Apply for the creation of a neighbourhood forum in line with procedures set out in legislation.
"Create a plan proposal and consult with the council, community and others and submit the plan to the council in line with procedures set out in legislation and successfully get the plan through a local referendum."