By Jack Goodman
MORE THAN three quarters of noise complaints in Headingley are caused by loud music and parties.
A study found that in the LS6 area – a well known hotspot for student accommodation – approximately 83% of the complaints were classified as either ‘party’ or ‘music’ between January and September.
Coun Jonathan Pryor (Lab, Headingley), suggested that students simply assuming their neighbours are also students, when in fact they are families, could be a cause for the complaints.
He said: “Obviously in an area that’s very mixed between a permanent population and a student population, you’re bound to have some of these issues.
“We find that a lot of students move into an area not realising they’re next door to someone who’s elderly, or someone who’s got children who go to bed at seven o’clock, so they will have a few of these parties, and that can cause friction between residents.”
Coun Pryor also explained how Leeds City Council is trying to work with the city’s universities to make students aware of the problems.
“We do a lot of work with the universities, we go round knocking on doors with officers from the university unions, just raising awareness that people do live in that mixed community.
“One of the problems is it’s a whole new set of people every year, so you’re back at square one every September.
“Every year we do the same as previous years and try something else extra to see if that makes a difference, so it feels like every year it gets slightly better, but for a lot of people it just depends who they get next door to them.
“It could be one year they get a bunch of post-grad students who are so buried in their work that there’s no time for parties, but the next year they’ve got a house that’s quite enthusiastic for a party. It’s a bit of pot luck on behalf of the permanent residents there,” he said.
The figures show that the number of “party” and “music” noise complaints dropped from 87% in June to 75% in July – and dropped again to 68% in August.
The figures then rose to 91% in September, around the time students return to the area for Freshers’ Week.
A spokesperson from the University of Leeds said: “We recognise that noise is an issue with a large concentration of students in this area.
“We work very hard with students to minimize and mitigate against the potential effects on the wider community, and partner with other universities, Leeds City Council, the police and community representatives to discuss issues about noise nuisance with students.”
The statement also highlighted the Neighbourhood Helpline Service operated by the university – and advised any residents experiencing issues to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 343 1064.
Julie Ibbotson is the manager of Grove Court Nursing Home, on Cardigan Road in the LS6 area.
She said: “Last year we did have some students living next door, and they were quite loud at times, but we just spoke to them about it rather than making a noise complaint.
“We asked them to try to keep the noise down after 1am, and they did.”