A family claim they are “living a nightmare” after their quiet terraced street has turned into “Magaluf-like” strip because of boozy university students.
A woman living in the street in Wavertee, Liverpool, said locals have become blighted with “nearly daily” parties at all hours and people vomiting in the street after scores of family homes were turned into student digs.
The street has seen 21 applications to convert one-time family homes into seven bedroom HMOs (house in multiple occupation) since 2017 which are let out to the students.
In the last three years the resident claims the street is littered with empty laughing gas (nitrous oxide) containers, with some being thrown into back gardens, and building works to convert the properties have become a noise nuisance.
The resident, who wants to be anonymous, said she has lived in her home since childhood and the problems began after letters began to arrive through residents’ doors in 2017 offering to buy the properties for “full market value”.
Since then, more than 12 HMOs have been created in the street to house university students, with most properties having been completely gutted to create the large student properties.
Many also have single storey extensions at the back to create extra living space.
In addition, she says there are problems of bins overflowing into the street and a glut of extra cars making parking difficult, as well as debris left lying around from the building works.
She says this has created a “domino effect”, leading several of her neighbours to reluctantly sell up to the very developers whose conversions have caused them to want to leave their homes in the first place.
‘It was a good street and very quiet, now it is like Magaluf here,” she said.
“We’ve had nearly three years of non-stop building work and now we’re boxed in by student houses.
“There’s a party every day, screaming and shouting at all hours. There were parties going on during lockdown.
“We’ve even had students next door playing football inside the house in the middle of the night.
“I have to take sleeping pills of a night and try to get to sleep before the music starts.
“Sometimes it feels like a living nightmare, everyone is so frustrated.
“It’s a fab area, close to the supermarkets, to the bus routes, the parks, we don’t want to leave and we won’t, but our quality of life has gone down so much.”
She has joined forces with other frustrated residents in nearby streets in the hope of tackling the issue.
A few streets away, another resident and member of the group, who also asked not to be named, says she too has had enough of the disruption brought about by the explosion of student HMOs in the area.
Earlier this week, Liverpool council announced the start of a consultation about invoking Article 4 in the area, a directive which can allow the withdrawal of specified permitted development rights across a defined area, and which would require smaller HMOs to also apply for planning permission.
The council said earlier this year they hope introducing Article 4 will “protect the wellbeing of the people who live in these communities” and “also help protect the balance of our housing offer”.
The anonymous resident said: “Where I am is not so bad, but places like Woodcroft Road, they’ve just ploughed in and destroyed the community there.
“I fear it’s irreversible, it’s created a domino effect.
“Where I am it’s still in the early stages, so perhaps we can stop it getting as bad.”
She said: “Even if we could stop these getting approved, and even if we could stop them getting converted in the future, what about the ones here already?
“This was a street I used to ride my bike along as a kid, now it is littered with glass and rubbish and chaos.
“I can’t let my child play out here, it’s not safe.
“We just want some quality of life in our own homes, is that too much to ask?”
Liverpool council acknowledges there is an excessive number of HMOs in the area in their draft Local Plan, a document for guiding the long term, strategic development of the city.