Make your feelings known
The council has published its intention to introduce an Article 4 direction to limit the further increase in the number of homes in multiple occupation in our community.
Unfortunately, it is not a "done deal" that the direction will be implemented and is subject to public consultation – and then consideration by the council's cabinet.
The student unions at both universities have indicated that they will oppose the introduction of an Article 4 direction because they feel their members should have as much choice about where they live as possible.
It is vitally important that community responses are made to the council consultation. I know that the vast majority of Oldfield residents think that an Article 4 direction is needed and is in fact long overdue – but we must tell the council that this is the case.
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The council has published a webpage with detailed information about what an Article 4 direction actually involves at www.bathnes.gov.uk/hmo.
Please could I ask local residents to register their support for the implementation of an Article 4 direction by writing an email of support to: Planning_Policy@bathnes.gov.uk, or write a letter to: Article 4, Planning Services, PO Box 5006, Bath BA1 1JG. The deadline for responses is July 20. Your email or letter does not have to be long and is best in your own words.
You can also ask to be kept informed of developments.
COUNCILLOR WILL SANDRY St Kilda's Road,Bath
Re: response to Siobhan Prideaux's article on page 33 on June 7 entitled "Opinions sought on student homes plan". Isn't it strange that the first response to the Article 4 directive should be from the universities, as they want to retain post graduates in the city.
As it is, these are the very same universities that have some small percentage of students that are both disruptive and have antisocial behaviour patterns that has really brought this about.
I see that Naomi Mackrill states that post graduates cannot afford to stay in the city – perhaps this has to do with all the low-cost properties being brought by buy-to-let landlords to turn them into HMOs for students.
As for B&NES Council, talk about shutting the door after the horse has bolted – well, as much use as a chocolate fireguard.
Living next to a student HMO, as I have for many years, I can only compare it to a game of Russian roulette. Every September the chamber spins and what are we going to get? Good or bad? In the past two years out of the eight HMOs in our road we have had three out of eight that have been a pain in the rear.
As for complaining to their landlord, that is more useless than an ashtray on a motorbike. Same applies to the universities and the council department.
So to conclude there should be an Article 4 directive and also regulations placed on the existing ones.
Why should Bathonians have to move out of the city to get away from disruptive student HMOs that only bring both universities into disrepute?
MR N F BIRD King Georges Road Bath