Northcourt Avenue Residents’ Association (NARA) have launched a consultation to ask people living near the University of Reading (UoR) Whiteknights campus about their experiences of living near the university and its students.

NARA is the local association for Northcourt Avenue, Wellington Avenue and Stansfield Close, in Reading. The association was instrumental in getting the appeal to develop and enlarge St Patrick’s Hall dismissed earlier this year.

NARA aims to collect between 100 and 200 responses during July and August 2019, and they intend to share the analysis with the university at the start of the Autumn term.

UoR recently consulted on its plans to create a new community strategy. NARA chair Simone Illger said that although she welcomed the university’s engagement with the wider community, she felt that the university’s consultation had been designed to convey a positive image of the university, but not to identify problems between the university and its neighbours.

“The university believes that it is doing enough to stop anti-social behaviour, noise and nuisance that people living nearby have to live with on an almost daily basis,” said Simone Illger. “In our view, it’s a minimal effort. It’s incredible how peace descends once the end of term arrives and the students all leave.”

“For far too long, local residents have been putting up with large groups of students passing between the town centre and the campus. Nobody minds students enjoying themselves, but it’s not much fun being regularly woken at 4am by shouting, singing and screaming.”

Ms Illger said that the university had introduced a street warden scheme just over a year ago, but these wardens had no authority outside university property. She added that a hot spot for public indecency, littering, noise and nuisance from university students was at the Christchurch Green bus stop, and that residents in Whitley Park Lane had reported disturbances for over 15 months but there had been little action from Thames Valley Police, the university or Reading Borough Council’s anti-social behaviour teams.

NARA’s consultation is open until the end of August. It is available online but can be delivered to neighbours in paper form upon request to NARA. The university will hold a community forum on 26 September.


Links
  1. NARA’s Reading University consultation
  2. NARA at the Whitley Pump
  3. University’s appeal to redevelop St Patrick’s Hall dismissed
  4. UoR strategy consultation
  5. UoR community forum in 26 September
  6. Rowdy university students ‘damage mental health’ of neighbours
  7. Reporting antisocial behaviour with Thames Valley Police, Reading University or Reading Borough Council