Fewer students would make Jesmond “better”

studentstownThe number of students living in Jesmond should be reduced, says Ron Armstrong, Liberal Democrat councillor for North Jesmond, in an interview with Jesmond Local.

Armstrong recently called for purpose built student “ghettos”. He is chairman of a committee working on plans to build flats for second and third years – the students who, traditionally, move out of university accomodation after their first year, into communities such as Jesmond and Heaton.

Armstrong told Jesmond Local:  “My view is that we could reduce the number of students in Jesmond and that would go a long way to making it a better and more sustainable community.”  He also claimed the majority of students do not want to move out of purpose built student accommodation.

“Streets with too many students are not economically sustainable,” Armstrong added. The short term nature of students’ residency in an area such as Jesmond does not cater, he argues, for the long term needs of the local community.

City centre sites such as Gallowgate, Percy Street and Half Moon Yard are being considered as possible locations for the flats and planners have already agreed to a 2,000-bed student village at Portland Green in Shieldfield.

However, Armstrong’s views have not been welcomed by local businesses, some of whom argue that removing the student population from such areas would negatively effect the local economy, with students making up approximately a third of their market. David Slater, the council’s executive director for regeneration, told Jesmond Local: “We value the contribution students make to the life and economy of the city, and are trying to balance this with the concerns residents have in some areas.”

2 thoughts on “Fewer students would make Jesmond “better””

  1. Dan says:

    Is Ron having a laugh? It makes no sense to de-studentise what’s pretty much always been a student-heavy community. It’s about time Newcastle City Council got out of bed with Jesmond Residents Association and actually put plans in place to benefit the whole community!

  2. Ashley says:

    I understand the point of view that the short term nature of students in the area does not benefit the community, but surely many of the local businesses would collapse without the students? The students bring an awful lot of income to the area. And what do they propose doing with all the houses that have been turned into multi-occupancy houses? A lot of those are probably not suitable for families etc without serious renovation. Without the students Jesmond would be a ghost town.

    Also, I have to agree with Dan re: Jesmond Residents Association and the Council. Get a grip people, and look for other, less caustic ways to live in harmony.

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