Burley: Community group writes open letter to new students


A community group in Burley is writing to all new students moving into the Boston Exchange site to welcome them to the area – and help stem problems with anti-social behaviour. Adele Rae, from Burley Top Community Association, has asked The Dispatch to print her letter:

Dear Residents

I’d like to welcome you to your new home on behalf of Burley Top Community Association. We hope your time in Burley is both happy and prosperous.

Burley Top is an active community association and our aim is to create a strong and resilient community. We are represented on the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum which is tasked with creating a neighbourhood plan outlining future aspirations for our local area.

We are currently campaigning to make St Ann’s Lane a one-way system in response to concerns from local residents.

Burley: St Ann’s Lane, Burley. Photo Google Street View

We are working towards creating a more cohesive community and have held a number of events to facilitate this, including a couple of fun days and a scarecrow trail. Going forward, there will be a festival in September and an outdoor Christmas market and Christmas lights switch on in December.

Your property is one of 12 which was built on the site of a former family home in a quiet, residential area. There have been a number of problems over the last couple of years, which have created antagonism, between long-term residents and the Boston Exchange residents. It is our hope that we can all live in harmony.

We appreciate that some of our members are sensitive and potentially hostile, with good reason, due to the range of issues they have experienced over the past couple of years. We hope to open a dialogue with yourselves which will facilitate a more positive and friendly relationship.

Your closest neighbours on St Ann’s Way, Lane, Rise and Close include a broad mix of elderly, working families and young children. In the past couple of years, they have had a really tough time with a few noisy and inconsiderate student households.

Whilst we understand being a student is about working hard and having fun we would request that that you remember that those living around you are not living ‘student lives’. To this end there are several things I would ask you to bear in mind to make all our lives better…

Firstly could I request that you dispose of your rubbish carefully and thoughtfully. There is nothing more upsetting than seeing rubbish strewn across your site which then blows around the entire area. Equally, bins abandoned on pavements for days on end make the area look neglected and uncared for.

We have been working closely with Park Lane Properties and Paul Matthews, our local environmental enforcement officer, to ensure our streets stay clean. We are also connected to Litter Free Leeds and hold regular litter picks around Burley.

The biggest reason for dispute between long-standing residents and the yearly turnover of students is, not unsurprisingly, noise.

Midweek, all-night parties are a regular bugbear for nearby residents who have to get up for work or school. We do have children who have been unable to sleep in their own bedrooms, as well as others who have been pushed into depression due to the stress brought on by ongoing noise issues.

One of the most disruptive problems is late night visits to Bargain Booze to replenish alcohol supplies. You might believe you are talking quietly but in the night, noise echoes and travels. Often, as we are going to bed, you are going out. When we are deep in sleep you come home, slamming car doors and shouting goodnight which for some provides a rude awakening and ensuing insomnia.

Please, please, please do try to be considerate after 9pm.

We respect your right to have fun but please respect ours to have a good night’s sleep. We absolutely recognise the positive impact students make to the local area and we want to extend the warmest of welcomes to you all.

We would be delighted to welcome you to any Burley Top meeting and activities. Details can be found on the Burley Top Community Association Facebook page which I would encourage you to join.

I hope you all have a wonderful year.

Warmest regards,

Adele Rae (Chairperson, Burley Top Community Association)







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