End of year- a Hyde Park resident’s perspective

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Sue Buckle, long term resident of Hyde Park shares her thoughts about the end of term, students departure and how students are viewed by permanent residents.

It’s that time of year again- gardens are lovely with spring blossom and on pavements, black bags overflowing with clothes charity shops would be glad of. The universities terms are nearly over and soon our student neighbours will be on the move.

It’s sad to say goodbye to the students who’ve become friends, even though we’ve never had the promised coffee or drink together due to busy lives.  My immediate neighbours have been great, considerate and friendly, and I wish they were staying another year. The ones on the street who’ve woken people up after midnight with loud, shrieking discussions about who’s going in which taxi or who’ve resolutely refused/forgotten to put their bins back in gardens- we can live without!

So far, Bank Holiday Monday, it’s been pretty quiet with only a few occasional loud boozey voices late at nights. We empathise with the euphoria of ending exams, but if only the lucky ones would remember the poor souls still revising for their exams. Local school children are still revising for their GCSE and A-level exams. Friends from a neighbouring street report “bearable noise” so far, but are bracing themselves for the next few weeks. Even the benefits of Hyde Park Christmas- the piles of discarded clothes, furniture, household items and food- don’t make up for the misery of sleep deprivation. Especially when you have an early start the next day or been told “This is a student area. Why don’t you move?”

Going back to bins- yesterday, walking up Victoria Road with my two adult daughters visiting their old home for the weekend, we had to step around the mess from bins overturned by we assume bladdered idiots on their way home. Festering rubbish including so much discarded food all over the pavement! This morning, three Council staff were picking up and bagging every smelly item- at a cost to the cash strapped Council! In a queue at the Cardigan Road Co-Op recently a friend overheard two students discussion on what a trash heap Hyde Park was. O the irony….

BUT, coming up my street today I chatted to some students who are staying next year, all done with exams apart from one. They’re keeping our recent street-flyer and will be following our tips to pass on their edible food to our Real Junk Food Project down at All Hallows Church, plus any other unwanted stuff which is reusable or recyclable.

When its near to the end of June, my washing machine will be on most days with binned clothes to pass on to charity shops and the South Headingley Community Association table top stall at Kirkstall Festival and Unity Day will benefit from all the stuff that students or their parents cars can’t fit in. Hopefully these will come straight to me, rather than via the bins!

Then it’s a peaceful summer with those of us whose home is here getting the chance to know better the students here over the summer- before October, and another 200+ new neighbours to try to get to know and welcome to the Hyde Park community!

What is a Statutory Noise Nuisance and how does it affect you?

Noise from student’s parties is a particular issue in local communities at this time of year. Whilst the University appreciates that students will want to enjoy and celebrate the end of their exams, this should be done in a responsible manner which does not cause distress or disturbance to nearby residents. The University and Leeds Antisocial behaviour Team have implemented procedures to respond to noisy parties and ensure that everyone is able to enjoy their home without being upset by the actions of others.

When does a house party become unacceptable and likely to cause complaints being made against you?
Complaints are most likely to be made against you if your party impacts on the health and wellbeing of your neighbours. Many factors effect this; frequency, time of day, location, duration and how many people are effected.

  • Noise from parties and loud music can be considered a nuisance at any time, day or night, but the hours between 11pm and 8am are when people are most noise sensitive.
  • The use of DJ and loud speaker systems are more likely to lead to complaints and enforcement action being taken.
  • You don’t need to be a regular party animal for complaints to be made about you. A one-off party for a birthday, celebration, or to raise funds for a local charity can still cause a disturbance to others and a complaint being made.
  • Parties that spill in to gardens and streets are more likely to cause complaints as noise from music and talking can easily carry spread to nearby houses.

 

How is noise controlled in the City?
Statutory noise nuisance is investigated by the Leeds City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team. The team will be patrolling the local area up to the end of June to respond to complaints of noise nuisance. They have at their disposal a number of sanctions that they can impose and this includes:

  • issuing of Community Protection Notices; sanctions for non-compliance include a £100 fixed penalty notice, seizure of equipment (including DJ decks and laptops)
  • issuing of Closure Notices; if the nuisance is not abated after a notice is served, the students at the address may be required to attend the Magistrates Court the following morning for a Closure Order application. Breach of a Closure Order is a criminal offence.
  • If students have previously been served with a noise abatement notice and this has been breached, the Council may pursue prosecutions through the criminal courts where property seizure is not an option, which could result in a criminal conviction and a fine.

The University may also take disciplinary against students whom behave in a way which persistently causes distress to their neighbours and brings into question the reputation of the university. For the University’s procedures see the Neighbourhood Helpline Code. 

For practical tips and advice on how to avoid causing any problems for your neighbours and to avoid enforcement action, take a look at the Living in Leeds Guide.

Are your noisy neighbours keeping you awake at night?

Neighbourhood Helpline Contact CardIf you and your studies are being affected by a noisy neighbour, help is at hand to get you a good night’s sleep.  The University is working with Leeds City Council’s Antisocial Behaviour Team and the other universities and colleges in the City to minimise noise nuisance in local communities. Whether the noise is a one-off, a regular occurrence, during the day or an evening, you can receive help by reporting the nuisance to the services detailed below.

Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team
Statutory noise nuisance is investigated by Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team.  They can be contacted through the following.
Noise that happens during the day:
Complete the online form or call the team on 0113 222 4402, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Noise that happens at night or at weekends/bank holidays:
The Council operates a night-time response service in partnership with West Yorkshire Police. If the problem is noise outside of office hours, please ring 0113 395 0143. This is available from 6pm to 3:30am. Noise at night-time should only be reported when the noise is occurring. The service availability is subject to demand and although they may not be able to stop the noise for you, they may provide further evidence to back up your allegations.

 

Universities and Colleges Neighbourhood Helpline
The Helpline is a 24-hour dedicated voicemail and email service operated by the University of Leeds in partnership with Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University College, Leeds City College and Leeds College of Music. Whether the issue involves noise, waste, parking or playing ball games, the Helpline partnership work with service users, Police and Leeds City Council to educate and correct negative behaviour amongst our students.
Contact Us:
By telephone (24hr voicemail service): 0113 343 1064
By Email: neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk
Alternatively, complete our online form. 

For practical tips and advice on how to avoid causing any problems for your neighbours and to avoid enforcement action, take a look at the Living in Leeds Guide.

Thinking of Celebrating Your Return to Leeds?

amandacropIf you are thinking of inviting your friends over for a few drinks to celebrate your return to Leeds, spare a thought for those living next door who may up at 7am to go to work, school or lectures.

Whilst you are studying here in Leeds you will make some great friends and have some great experiences, and rightly so. It is, however, important to note that you are now part of a much larger community with very different needs and lifestyles to your own.

Here are some simple tips to help you remain on friendly terms with your neighbours.

  • Get to Know your Neighbours. Different people will be affected by noise differently. Elderly neighbours and families with children tend to go to bed earlier and require more sleep. Working people and students are most affected by weekday noise.
  • Stick to weekends if you are thinking of having a party. As a matter of courtesy call around to your neighbours in advance to let them know and negotiate a time which the party will continue till. Consider giving your neighbours a mobile number so that they can notify you if the noise levels are reaching an inconsiderate volume. However, regular weekly late-night disturbances even at weekends are likely to result in complaints.
  • Consider holding celebrations away from your home. Many city centre bars offer rooms which can be booked at no cost.
  • Keeping doors and windows closed, especially in warm weather, will help to limit noise levels. If you or any guests are using an outside space for smoking, try and keep the volume of your conversations to a minimum.
  • If you play a musical instrument, speak to your housemates and neighbours and agree a time that you can practice without disturbing them.
  • Use taxi firms which have a call back service to notify you when they have arrived. Remain indoors until they arrive.
  • If you do get a visit from a neighbour, Police or Council Officer, remain calm and polite.

If you are having any problem with a noisy neighbour or any other concern regarding the community in which you live, contact the Universities and Colleges Neighbourhood Helpline service on 0113 343 1064 (24 hour voicemail) or neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk.

For more helpful tips and advice view: