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To: Mike Jones Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council



Chester Community Voice wants a formal commitment in the Council's Draft Local Plan to deliver a detailed policy that is focussed on the need to manage what is recognised as a significant University/ studentification, impact on the City.
To establish long term strategies for University accommodation and work with City residents and the University of Chester to facilitate their preparation.
To establish robust planning conditions over Houses of Multi Occupation in areas already swamped with student accommodation and impose licensing conditions on all landlords renting out HMO, as in Tower Hamlet. Placing a 10% limit on the proportion of HMO's within any area in the City as in the City of Canterbury.
To police areas to determine where unregistered houses of multi occupation
exist and penalise the landlords involved

Why is this important?

Chester city is under attack from untrammelled developments to provide for accommodation for students of Chester University. There is no restrictions, no planning, to ensure an area can accommodate the student numbers and no regard paid to the wishes of residents who live with the problems of being swamped by the numbers of students living within their area,
Within the City's residential areas, family housing has been converted into housing of multi occupation for student accommodation . In the Garden Lane area a tipping point has been reached where the student numbers exceed those of residents . Residents have decided to leave the areas because of the problems posed by high student numbers.
With the displacement of established residents by students the area has had an increase in low level anti social behaviour including noise pounding out from house, street or gardens at all hours , vandalism of vehicles , private property, and vomiting and urinating on the streets.
The arrival of undergraduates has ripped the heart of the Garden Lane area
they aren't interested in tending gardens ,or cutting hedges, moreover they keep odd hours and throw late night parties Some streets in the area in which they live now resemble slums, refuse being left in garden and littering the streets, grass uncut and fences broken. An old pensioner in the area said it was like living in a war zone . Properties in the areas have suffered with physical changes,are unkempt and suffer from squalor and dereliction. The streets suffer from permanent 'street blight'.
The use of licencing condition and restricting orders on HMO's are necessary to control the area and ensure that existing residence are protected
from further degradation in the quality of their lives .
What is necessary is however is policies , strategies and action that address the future demand for student accommodation which do not damage the historic heritage of the City Centre and enable residential areas to provide family accommodation not blighted by studentification


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • The area has litter on the roads and pavements, waste in front gardens, with (luckily) isolated anti social behaviour. But when the University are confronted they just give the automated response that they aren't responsible for private accommodation. I we approach the council, all they can do is ask for a formal complaint in writing and they might pass it on.
  • To join with others to raise awareness of need to protect chester and surrounding areas against student builds
  • i am concerned that land allocated for local dwelling has been used for student accommodation with a loss of revenue to the council and loss of needed affordable housing. in the LDP there has been no control over the pepper potting of student accommodation around the city.


2014-06-29 09:55:04 +0100

50 signatures reached

2014-06-15 15:09:46 +0100

25 signatures reached

2014-06-13 21:13:22 +0100

10 signatures reached