Too many students in Chandos Road area?

December 23 2015

A SURVEY has been launched to investigate the balance between the number of residents and students living within the Chandos Road area.

A SURVEY has been launched to investigate the balance between the number of residents and students living within the Chandos Road area.

The Chandos Road Community Association (CRCA) says that over the last 10 years, they have seen a large number of houses being bought by landlords to accommodate increasing numbers of students coming to Bristol.

They add that this rapid concentration of students has had a negative impact on the local community, with an increase in late night noise and disturbances, and has left them feeling outnumbered.

As part of their campaign to tackle disruptive behaviour, members of the association have been knocking on doors and speaking to occupants to establish the mix between permanent residents and students.

Once the information has been collated, the group aims to distribute information sheets explaining the benefits of considerate behaviour.

CRCA was established in the summer in response to a planning application to extend a house in the street to accommodate for more students.

The application, recommended for approval by case officers, was eventually turned down at a council committee meeting following a high number of objections from local residents.

Derrick Collier, local resident and member of CRCA, said: “We realised during the process that the council’s planning department was basing decisions on out-of-date and limited population data.

“We therefore decided to create a survey for homes in the area [funded by a small grant from Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Neighbourhood Partnership] to establish the population mix, and what effect this has on residents.”

He added: “The area around Chandos Road is a great place to live, and along with many others I enjoy what it has to offer. Having been here for many years, and having brought up a family, I'm committed to the area.

“However, over the last 10 years or more, I've seen a large number of homes bought by landlords and altered to house as many students as possible.

“Unfortunately, the lifestyle of students often doesn't fit well with the needs of typical working households - for instance, when sleep is disrupted by late night noise.”

According to a report, ‘Action for Balanced Communities’, which has been compiled by the Cabot, Clifton and Clifton East Neighbourhood Partnership, with support from CRCA and other local community groups, student numbers are 40 percent higher than UoB predicted in its masterplan in 2006.

“At the heart of the problem is a failure of long-term planning,” the report states. “The university has concentrated on delivering enough managed housing for first year students, [but] no consideration has been given to where these students might be housed in their second, third or fourth years.

“The problem lies in rapidly increasing numbers within certain areas, and the uncontrolled markets in housing and other services that are exploiting the student pound.

“Residents find themselves having to fight one planning application after another to try and keep the balance reasonably healthy and sustainable. Occasionally, we succeed, but more often than not the odds seem to be stacked against us.”

A spokesperson from the University of Bristol said: “The university works very closely with the Students’ Union, UWE, Bristol City Council and local residents associations to minimise any adverse impact that student may have on an area.

“We employ a Community Liaison Officer and a number of student ambassadors who run campaigns and support residents throughout the year under the collective ‘Love where you Live’ banner.

“Any local resident who is experiencing problems can contact us at conduct-accom@bristol.ac.uk.”

Chandos Road