by Paul Foy
Edinburgh Napier University may lose it’s licence for their student accomodation complex at West Bryson Road.
Local residents have filed a number of petitions to Edinburgh City Council to have the licence revoked, after weeks of what they have described as major and regular disturbances.
The students living at the complex received a letter describing the matter some weeks ago, but concerns have been renewed recently after a fresh out break of anti social behaviour at the weekend.
The petition could potentially mean that the students currently living in the complex, could all be evicted, and students in residence there have become concerned.
Christopher Fulton, a resident in the complex, feels that the prospect of eviction is somewhat extreme: “Freshers week was crazy around here, and the next two or three weeks after where only a small improvement.
“When we got the letter about the residents filing the petition, things settles down a lot.
“I think it would be harsh if West Bryson Road lost it’s licence, seeing as how much everything has calmed down. I understand where the residents are coming from, but at the same time, their complaints aren’t valid anymore.”
James Parker, a photography student also living in the complex believes that Edinburgh Napier has a duty of care towards the students: “I’d be devastated if we were all turfed out.
“There would be a real scramble for accomodation, and that would definitely be stressful. My worry is that if we were all evicted, that Napier would just leave us adrift.
“Some of us paid our rent for the year upfront, what would happen in that case. There’s a lot of questions that would have to be answered.”
Whilst a significant number of the local residents signed the petition, not everyone was on board with the idea. Raymond Gallacher, a civil servant who lives in the building beside the student block, was one such person: “It was absolute carnage around here at the beginning of September, and I can see why my neighbours felt compelled to act. Things have settled down a fair amount, but not completely.”
Mr. Gallacher feels a different approach would prove fruitful: ” I think the onus of responsibilty should be on the university, as I’m sure everyone could expect a building full of first years to run riot for the first few weeks, I remember doing it myself.
“Perhaps some extra security for the first few weeks, or on the spot fines or something. Revoking the licence would be a bit extreme in my view.”
So far a number of students who have been identified as significant trouble makers have been evicted, and in the eyes of Christopher Fulton, this should be both an olive branch to the residents, and a strong warning to the students: “One guy was evicted after three weeks, and another one has gone this weekend. Everyone’s suddenly become very scared now that major action is being taken, and I think that will bring about a major shift in attitude from all us here.”
Edinburgh Napier University declined to comment.