Cotham Vale HMO bid is rejected ... UoB and community liaison ... Roslyn noise 'ruins lives'

SUMMARY An attempt to gain retrospective planning approval for an illegal HMO in Cotham Vale has been rejected by Bristol City Council after drawing a long list of public objections. Had it been approved, five houses in a run of six properties would have been HMOs, adding to what the council calls a "harmful concentration". Read more ... ■ I have urged the University of Bristol to rethink its decision to disband the Community Liaison Group. In a letter to Vice Chancellor Prof. Hugh Brady, I stated: “This decision and the way it has been conveyed appear to signal a retreat by the university from direct engagement with its nearest neighbours at a time when rapid expansion of student numbers c

Cotham Vale HMO bid is rejected

A bid to gain planning approval for a new HMO in Cotham Vale has been rejected by the city council, to the relief of the many residents who objected. The property has been operating illegally as a House in Multiple Occupation since last summer, resulting in a council enforcement investigation which in turn led to the application for retrospective planning approval. Planning officials recommended rejection, saying in a report: "Given the level of HMOs within the local area and the number of existing HMOs [on] the south side of Cotham Vale it is considered that the retrospective application would result in a harmful concentration of the HMOs within the area. Allowing another HMO in this locati

► Eaton Crescent, Feb 26: 'Called Operation Beech'

(19069) Operation Beech, the police patrol paid for by UoB, was called to Eaton Crescent by a resident who was disturbed by a student party on the night of Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The resident wrote to the letting agents, saying: "There was a noisy party at No [xx] Eaton Crescent ... It stopped me and my daughter sleeping. She was visiting and asked how in earth I could sleep when my student neighbours were so noisy. ... Rather than wait to see if it quietened down, I called Op Beech at midnight and they fixed the problem." The resident says he had been disturbed the previous night by noise from a different flat in an Eaton Crescent property managed by the same agents. (See report 1906

► Eaton Crescent, Feb 26: 'Woken multiple times'

(19068) A letting agency says it has sent "a strong email" to tenants at a flat in Eaton Crescent after a resident reported being woken by loud music in the early hours of Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The resident says: "I was woken multiple times before the music got so loud that I had to get out of bed and go round to find out the specific flat that was making the noise. I also found that they were keeping [another flat] awake as well. I had to knock on the windows for 3 minutes before I got a response. They were apologetic but obviously very merry. The noise abated but did not fully stop and so I resorted to ear plugs." He describes himself as "grumpy and tired (again)". (Email, Feb 26,

► Arlington Villas, Feb 25: 'Loud music'

(19067) A resident complains of being disturbed by a party at a student flat in Arlington Villas on the night of Tuesday, February 25, 2020 and the early hours of Wednesday. "The Top Floor Flat of No [xx] Arlington Villas held a party on 25/26th Feb. The noise was manageable until about 2300 after which I didn't notice it again until 0230 and then 0330. I was woken by loud music, singing and shouting. The residents were unresponsive to their doorbell so I could not ask them to shut the music down." He has written to agents for the property, asking them to "Please remind your tenants that they live in a family community." (Email, Feb 26, 2020. 03-50)

► Lansdown, Feb 19: 'Call to Operation Beech'

(19066) Various residents have reported noise disturbance in the street on Lansdown Road on the night of February 19, 2020. One person says she texted Operation Beech, the police patrol funded by UoB, but gives no further details other than to say "[The police] response was immediate ... really great service that is running." (Email: Feb 19, 2020. 22:17) Others have reported noise associated with two groups of students who left houses later in the evening. One resident says: "Noticed a low level of noise until about 11.30 when just about to go to bed. Then lots of shouting and street noise from about 30+ girls leaving no [xx]. I went out, and noticed a police car in the street. I spoke to on

► Aberdeen, Feb 16: 'Woken at 2-30am'

(19065) A resident has complained to UoB about a late-night party at a house in Aberdeen Road in the early hours of Sunday, February 16, 2020. The resident says: "I was wakened at 2:30am on Sunday by loud music. ... I could see that the basement doors were wide open and a loud party was in progress. People were in the garden shouting loudly. By closing internal doors and curtains we were able to reduce the noise by enough to get back to sleep by 3am .... although the noise was still going on." (Email: Feb 17, 2020. 12.07)

Feb 17 public meeting on HMOs ... UoB and community liaison ... Roslyn noise 'ruins lives'

SUMMARY A public meeting on draft new planning rules for HMOs will be held at Redland Library, Whiteladies Road, this coming Monday, February 17, at 7pm. The meeting is hosted by Councillors Anthony Negus and Clive Stevens. Bristol City Council has opened a public consultation on the new rules (submit views by March 20). Read more ... ■ I have urged the University of Bristol to rethink its decision to disband the Community Liaison Group. In a letter to Vice Chancellor Prof. Hugh Brady, I stated: “This decision and the way it has been conveyed appear to signal a retreat by the university from direct engagement with its nearest neighbours at a time when rapid expansion of student numbers calls

► Waverley, Feb 10: 'Went out to complain'

(19064) A resident says she was woken in the early hours of Tuesday, February 10, 2020, by shouting from people leaving a party in Waverley Road. In a complaint to UoB, she said she "had to go and remonstrate with a group of very noisy students outside [xx] Waverley Road." She added: "There was a noisy gathering at about 11pm, obviously for someone's birthday. At 12.40am I was awakened by loud noise and shouting from about 10-12 people who had been at the party. They were out in the street waiting for taxis and still drinking. "I went out and asked them to please be quiet. Some of them were apologetic but most of the others just kept on shouting. Eventually taxis came, with still more shouti

► Cotham Vale, Feb 7: 'Loud bass'

(19063) A resident has complained to UoB about noise disturbance in Cotham Vale on Friday, February 7, 2020. The resident said students in a nearby house "were playing very loud drum & bass type music on the ground floor, with sounds of shouting and singing coming through." The noise occurred between 10-30pm and 11-30pm. He also complained about waste bins being left on the street all week, citing five local addresses. (Email: Feb 10, 2020. 16:59)

► Cotham Gardens, Feb 5: 'Frequent noise'

(19062) Two residents have complained to UoB about frequent noise from a student property in Cotham Gardens, most recently on Wednesday, Feb 5, 2020. One resident said: "I am writing to complain about the frequent parties and late-night noise from [xx] Cotham Gardens. It happens most Wednesday evenings and weekends. I can hear the bass music from my bedroom, which stops my family from sleeping. "The frequent loud music and shouting in the street has become really quite disruptive. One one occasion before Christmas, she summoned help from Operation Beech. "The officers were helpful, but it is a shame they are not on duty more often." (Email: Feb 5, 2020. 23:33) The second resident, who sa

► Roslyn, Feb 1: Second of two parties

(19061) Party at student house in Roslyn Road, Sat/Sun, February 1/2, 2020. This is the second of two parties held in the street on the same night. For details, see the article here.

► Roslyn, Feb 1: First of two parties

(19060) Party at student house in Roslyn Road, Sat/Sun, February 1/2, 2020. This is the first of two parties held in the street on the same night. For details, see the article here.

'Roslyn Road Resident' says student noise is 'ruining lives'

Residents in Roslyn Road, which has one of the largest concentrations of student-occupied houses in the area, have complained about disturbance from simultaneous parties on Saturday, Feb 1, 2020. One person, writing only as "Roslyn Road Resident", sent a strongly worded email to the University of Bristol vice-chancellor, Prof. Hugh Brady; the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens; local MP Thangham Debbonaire; Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees; and local councillors, among others. The resident said: "I would like to formally complain in this instance about not just one but two house parties simultaneously last Saturday night on Roslyn Road, extending into the early hours with drinking in t

► Lansdown, Jan 29: 'Shouting in street'

(19059) A resident in Lansdown Road reports being woken on consecutive nights, Tuesday, Jan 28, and Wednesday, Jan 29, at around 11-30pm by students leaving house parties to get taxis. She cites "people screaming and shouting in the street" for roughly 20 minutes on each occasion. "I know it’s only 20 minutes but it’s enough to be woken properly and then struggle to get back to sleep." (Email, Jan 31, 2020. 18:27) Students commonly meet for "pre-drinks" gatherings before leaving to go to the pubs and clubs. This often leads to substantial disturbance as groups wait in the street for taxis. UoB advises its students that parties should be quiet by 10pm on week nights.

UoB should rethink community liaison decision ... new rules to limit spread of HMOs

SUMMARY I have written to the University of Bristol urging a rethink of its decision to disband the Community Liaison Group. In a letter to Vice Chancellor Prof. Hugh Brady, I stated: “This decision and the way it has been conveyed appear to signal a retreat by the university from direct engagement with its nearest neighbours at a time when rapid expansion of student numbers calls for more communication, not less.” Read more ... Draft new rules to limit the spread of HMOs have just been released by Bristol City Council, and will now go to public consultation. (Submit views by March 20). These could be especially significant for the Redland and Cotham areas. Read more ... Email subscribers: I

Tighter Rules for New HMOs Go to Public Consultation

Efforts to tighten the rules on new HMOs have taken a step forward with the release by Bristol City Council of a Supplementary Planning Document which will now go to public consultation. Further details, including the document itself, can be found on the council's consultations page. The deadline for submitting views is Friday, March 20. The proposals will give planners two crucial rules with which to reject applications for new or expanded HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) that would create a "harmful concentration" of such shared housing: No sandwiching—applications will be rejected if they would result in a house that isn't an HMO being flanked on either side by houses that are. A 10%

UoB Should Rethink Decision to Scrap Community Liaison Group

COMMENT: I have written to the University of Bristol urging a rethink of its decision to disband the Community Liaison Group, which I reported in an article on Jan 6. In a letter emailed to Vice Chancellor Prof. Hugh Brady on Jan 28, I stated: “This decision and the way it has been conveyed appear to signal a retreat by the university from direct engagement with its nearest neighbours at a time when rapid expansion of student numbers calls for more communication, not less.” My letter to Prof. Brady is available here. I decided to write after receiving no response to questions I submitted three weeks earlier. I have now been told I will receive a response from the university’s Registrar, Luci

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