Leicester students react to news of new university accommodation

By Matthew Chandler

Opinions have been divided among Leicester students about the news that 125 new student flats will be built in the city.

The developments, which were approved last week, will take place in two of the city’s historic areas.

A New Walk building will be made into studio apartments, while a two-storey office block near Leicester Castle will be converted into five floors of flats, costing about £10 million.

The second of these developments will be overseen by Victoria Hall Management Ltd, who also built the nearby Victoria Halls accommodation.

Alex Blackwell lives on Narborough Road and believes the company are being unruly at the residents’ expense:

“It’s unfair on the residents and is another example of a big firm taking advantage of their power and abusing residents who cannot hold them to account.

“Being from Leicester, I am all for new housing for more students as it adds to the city, but I am not a fan of it being a negative and affecting the local residents.”

marydecastrochurch.pngThe other site will be built near St Mary de Castro church

Another student disagreed, though, saying it is better to add students to an area where they are already well-populated than to create new patches full of them.

Adam Clarke, living in student accommodation Queen’s Court, said: “There’s already students in the area so I don’t see why more would be a problem.

“I get that students can be annoying but it’s not like it’s a quiet area they’re adding students into. They are already areas with students, so more won’t really affect it too much in my opinion, and students have to live somewhere.”

Meanwhile, Derry Keary, who also lives on Narborough Road, generally agreed that residents should not stand in the way of what he considers further improvements to the city, and believes such change in a place like Leicester is inevitable:

“When you are a student city like Leicester, developments will always come around like this. Sometimes it’s just unfortunate they are on the sites of something really special. It’s just modernising the town.

People can get hung up on history sometimes; you have to let new history be made. Where there was great historical value, there can be the space to let students discover and learn and go on to do great things. If it’s at the cost of something we’ll never have again, there has to be a balance.”

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