South Leamington residents fear the area is becoming a “university campus” – which is having a negative effect on others who live there.
Most recently they are facing proposals by Alumno for a 180-bedroom student development in Althorpe Street and new plans for a 30-person block on the former Leamington Priors Club site in nearby Tower Street, while other developments of varying sizes have ether already been built - such as Station House - or granted planning permission.
The Char-Mont Residents group, made up of people living in roads near the sites, has written to every member of Warwick District Council expressing concern over the influx of students.
Group member Richard Charnley said: “The council’s own draft planning policy for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and student accommodation of July 2013 states that its purpose is ‘to control the concentration of HMOs, including student accommodation, in certain parts of the district’, noting that ‘existing concentrations in parts of South Leamington have led to a significant loss of amenity for more settled residents’.
“The policy refers to ‘the concentration of young, single, people’ and recognises ‘noise and anti-social behaviour, rubbish on the streets and property management and maintenance issues’ as being concerns for permanent residents,” said Mr Charnley.
“We value living in a diverse, mixed, community, but once young people who are temporary residents with little commitment to the area become the dominant demographic, then social cohesion begins to break down.”
Mr Charnley said residents in South Town have a sense there is no plan for accommodating Warwick University’s students and by default piecemeal developments are being allowed with the cumulative effect that the area is becoming “a university campus to the detriment of other residents”.
Councillors are being urged to implement measures to mitigate the problems identified in the draft policy and to prioritise the concerns of permanent residents over those of developers.