Residents Speak out about Student Growth in City Centre

PLANS to increase University accommodation, again, around Chester cause local residents to worry about how the growth of students in the city will affect family lifestyles.

With the University of Chester becoming a more appealing option to many students all over the country, the University are discussing potential plans for new accommodation to be built for their students.

Last year the University invested in new accommodation, bringing two new housing units online

A spokesman from the University of Chester has said: “A number of new private, purpose-built student developments have either begun construction or have been awarded planning approval, amounting to approximately 1,000 new beds to come online either in September 2015 or 2016.

“The University continues to work with private developers for the benefit of students and communities, advising developers on student management plans while remaining neutral on proposed developments.”

We interviewed a number of people in Chester today to assess local opinion and there are a mixture of opinions on the topic.

“It’s probably a good thing over all for the students of the University as it will mean that they will be closer to their lectures and class mates but for local families it might start to become a problem.

“There are a few families that I know living in what we call ‘Student Ville’ at the moment and I know that they find it quite loud at times, specifically through the university holidays and on student nights” said shop assistant, Charlotte Perkins, aged 26 of Newton lane.

Office worker Diane Brooks, aged 42 of Barkhill Rd believes that: “Chester is known as a historic city and I understand that the University means a lot of young people about the place, and as long as they remember that it’s quite small and they are not the only residents here I don’t see more accommodation for them becoming a problem. Most students seem to go home through holidays or long weekend breaks anyway, therefore for the majority of the year it seems like it might be pretty quiet anyway”.

The University believes that the growth of students in the city centre is a positive thing, stating that “In 2012 the University undertook an Economic Impact Assessment to determine how much the institution contributes to the local economies; this amounted to £298 million per year.

“The University’s impact on the city of Chester is generally positive, though measures are in place to address behaviour that falls short of the high standards expected of University of Chester students.”

However, Sue Wilt, shop assistant, aged 57 of Green lane does not agree, stating that “Around the city centre there seems to be more accommodation for students, whether provided by the university its self or from student letting agencies, than there is for actual tax paying residents, so is it really necessary to be building anymore?”

Holly Langtree, aged 20, of Cheyney Rd who is currently a student at the University herself welcomes any potential accommodation to the area, sharing how “When I started university I was unable to gain access to any accommodation as there wasn’t enough to go round.

“I feel like I missed out on a crucial part of the university experience, therefore I think this development will be a good thing so that other students are able to settle in and get the most from the university.”

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