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Residents unhappy at plan for derelict Arboretum area to be turned into student flats, even as one describes it as a haven for drug dealing and prostitution

A plan to turn a derelict play area into student housing has been criticised by residents who fear it will add to the problems created by students in the area.

The proposal, which has been recommended for planning permission, outlines the demolition of the former City Council Tennyson Street Play Centre, Arboretum and the construction of ten six bed student accommodation dwellings.

The redevelopment comprises of two short terraces of identical three storey buildings, with a terrace of four flats fronting onto Tennyson Street and a terrace of six flats onto Ayr Street.

People living across the road from the prospective site thought the plans would be detrimental to the area.

Paulette Allen, 52, who works as a caterer and lives on nearby Francis Street, was concerned by the plans which would see the accommodation built across from her back garden.

She said: “I do not want to live here anymore because of students and to add more is a worry.

“I’m ready to move already as I have had people peeing against our garden fence and smashed bottles are also left around that pop our tyres around here.

“They have already built a load of student places around here, every big building seems to be turned into it.

“I told them the parking would be trouble, they need to make sure the building has its own parking. When I try go to work their is always someone in the way.

“People put their own traffic cones out and then the council come and say they can’t do it, but residents can’t get out of their own drive.

“The noise is ridiculous and they go round throwing bottles and knocking over bins.

“I would much rather it be a play centre again, I think everyone around here would – that’s why there was the campaign to save it.”

The building had been occupied by a group called ‘Communi-T’ in 2018 in a bid to prevent the building being sold for student accommodation.

In 2019 a campaign group tried to buy the play centre from Nottingham City Council for just £10 to prevent it becoming student accommodation and put it back in the hands of the community.

A woman, who lives on Francis Street and did not want to be named, claimed that crime was taking place on the site: “I’m not against students being here but there’s a lot of antisocial behaviour around here

“The playground as it is now is used for drug dealing by gangs and for prostitution even.

“The construction noise and all the noise from there will be a pain for the parents and families on the street.

“People in their gardens could be overlooked by the students and I want there to be some privacy for my kids and it can’t be good for them either.

“They do not plan for all these cars in the planning either I don’t think.

“All the surrounding streets have permits but this one isn’t so we have a lot of problems.”

But students in the area thought that the plans would improve the area.

Liam Marsh, 21, who studies law at Nottingham Trent University, said: “It would improve the area, it doesn’t give this part of the city a good image at the moment.

“If it was changed into anything else then it would be a bit better for everyone I think.”

Tommy Pearson, 20, who studies business at Nottingham Trent University, added: “It’s a bit creepy looking with it all overgrown, I don’t care about what should replace it but it needs to go.

“I don’t know if there needs to be more students here though to be honest it seem like a lot, even though this building doesn’t sound that big.”

The plans will go before Nottingham City Council’s planning committee on October 20.

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