Local residents groups claim Leam is ‘overrun’ with students

I get the feeling we aren’t very welcome…

Local residents groups have claimed Leamington Spa is being ‘overrun’ with students from the University of Warwick. Oops.

Groups such as the Clarendon Neighbourhood Group (CNG) and the South Leamington Area Residents (SoLAR) have voiced concerns over the sheer number of students living in Leam, and the repercussions of this student invasion.

Residents are seemingly fed up with increasing piles of rubbish bags on pavements (because students definitely control how often their rubbish is collected by the bin men?) and loud noise late at night from parties and club-goers returning home (okay this one is understandable).

Some even fear the creation of “student ghettos”. Tad dramatic.

CNG will be meeting with officers from Warwick District Council later this week to review the residents’ concerns. They want less HMOs (houses in multiple occupation- i.e. houses suitable for student rental) and fewer students in the centre of Leam, as well as licenses of negligent student landlords revoked if they permit anti-social behaviour.

A post from the Leamington Together Facebook Group for a talk on HMOs with a Warwick District Council officer

Carrie Terry, a group member of CNG, claimed: “There are streets across Leamington, which no longer feature any permanent residents at all, where family homes have been converted into student flats and houses, and given rise to a whole host of problematic issues.”

She gave the example of Clarendon Avenue, claiming three quarters of the residents during term-time were Warwick Students.

Colin Pigg, another CNG member, argued: “Warwick University has plans for significant growth in student numbers and yet they have no intention of increasing on-campus bed-spaces, preferring instead to outsource their students’ accommodation requirements to our community.

“The impact on Leamington is devastating and will become virtually irreversible.”

I guess we’re not welcome in Leam 🙁

A University of Warwick spokesperson said: “We value our active, positive role in our local community – and we work hard to engage with our campus neighbours, providing support and opportunities as well as listening to their views and concerns.

“Our students have been welcomed into the Leamington Spa community for many years and we are proud of the contribution they make to the local economy and neighbourhoods, especially through their countless volunteering hours. We work closely with Warwick District Council, residents’ groups and other community partners to help foster a positive environment for all who live in the town.

“Among the initiatives we have introduced is the Student Housing Enforcement Officer (SHEO) role in Leamington Spa, which we joint-fund with Warwick District Council, to improve standards of student housing. The housing officer proactively inspects properties and works with students, neighbours and landlords to make improvements for the good of students and other residents.

“We have also just supported Warwick Students’ Union to launch a ‘Rate Your Landlord’ platform, to empower students to make informed decisions about where they live and celebrate the best landlords in the area.”

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