‘Durham is dying’, meeting told

SCENE STAR: One of the images from the Crimestoppers calendar.
SCENE STAR: One of the images from the Crimestoppers calendar.
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THE huge number of students living in Durham is ruining the community feel, a meeting heard.

Residents packed a meeting, called by Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods, to discuss plans for a £200million property development by Banks Property on Mount Oswald golf course.

Banks has proposed creating 16 £1million-plus homes, 56 executive homes, 250 family homes, accommodation for up to 1,000 university students, apartments and community facilities on the land.

Concerns were raised over the potential impact on traffic, schools and loss of green space.

But during the debate residents said they would welcome the new accommodation for students, because they were taking over city centre communities.

One said: “We are absolutely saturated with students. I wonder about the viability of our neighbourhoods in future.

“I want to see families coming back into the city centre. It is undermining the community feel. Durham is dying.”

Another said student landlords had destroyed Durham communities.

Further public consultations on the proposed development are set to be held next month. A planning application could be made early next year, with Banks hoping to start work in the scheme in 2013.