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Letters Editor
Civic Brighton and Hove platform
18 August 2014

Sussex University’s Vice Chancellor’s letter (Argus 14 July) is headed ‘Our universities are a reason why [our] great city is so popular’. I know the Vice Chancellor did not write his own head line, but it is the reverse which is true.

i spent many years interviewing students for one of our universities and I always asked why they wanted to come to Brighton. With only one exception over the years they said “Because of the place”.

Why does the vice chancellor think that it is good news that so many of the 3,000 new graduates will be staying in Brighton after they have received their degrees? Year on year where will all these graduates live? Will there be enough jobs of a level to match the graduates expectations? The vice chancellor claims that Brighton’s economic strength has powered continued growth. Doesn’t this growth bring its own problems: the rising costs of accommodation, pressure to build on the urban fringe or in the South Downs National Park?

Both universities now plan to grow even more. I understand that the reason that Sussex University’s plans for more student accommodation at Falmer was refused was that this is not an area which has been designated for tall buildings, not as the Vice-Chancellor suggests ‘because some people blame students for the many problems in the city’.

I understand that long term residents are moving out of North Laine is the number of students there is becoming overwhelming. Would the Vice-Chancellor consider moving near to the Circus Street site with 486 student flats on a relatively small site? I know people who have had to move out of the flat they owned because of the noise from the students in the flat above, and people unable to sell their house because of the student flats nearby. I hear that St Andrew’s has become student city as many of the residents have left. We need compulsory courses for students to teach them how to live responsibly within a community.

The banks are keen to fund student flats/rooms as they produce a guaranteed and rising income. I wonder whether we will see an oversupply of student rooms, as most students do not want to live in halls after their first year, so there is no guarantee that we will see these student houses returned to family use.

Selma Montford
10 Clermont Road Brighton BN1 6SG