‘Studentification has reached breaking point’
INCESSANT late-night shouting and door-slamming and finding vomit on her doorstep has driven an Old Town woman to call a public meeting to discuss what she calls the “studentification” of Leamington.
Helen Lowthian, who lives in the south of the town and works at the Gaia co-operative shop in Regent Place, said she was “dismayed” when she heard about plans put forward by Chapel Street firm AC Lloyd to build a block of student accommodation in the area.
She said: “I have nothing against individual students - I have met some truly inspiring young people.
“But I have also lived next door to a group of lads who did a great impression of a Welsh male voice choir every time they came back from a night out, with their rendition of ‘Country Road Take Me Home’.
“This is before we mention the doors slamming, the shouting, the vomit on your doorstep, the constant rubbish and the alarms.”
Ms Lowthian also said she has had endure students urinating against her and neighbours’ properties. She said: “It’s come to breaking point.
“When you have got five or six student houses in a street, it’s OK, but now in George Street, there are only three or four non-students left.”
She said that while shops that sell alcohol may benefit from a high student population, the rest would prefer to be surrounded by customers who live in the area all year.
The Courier also received a letter from Leamington resident Jack Sheridan, who said: “For a small locality to house so many transient young people who pay no council tax undermines the lives of the people who reside full time here.”
Leo Boe, president of Warwick University Student Union, said: “Students give up much of their time to developing Leamington as a community, volunteering, engaging with non-students and raising money for charity.
“A lot of businesses depend on the student pound. That has to be seen as a positive. Residents and students can co-exist and have co-existed for decades in Leamington.”
Ms Lothian’s meeting will take place at the Salvation Army building in Chapel Street on Wednesday at 6pm.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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