Student Noise Polution Canterbury Submitted by Bob Leydon on Sun, 15/04/2012 - 03:04

  • Forum: Societies
  • This page was inspired by Velia Cofey who spoke at the Canterbury Society about the impact of students in Canterbury comunities.
  • Students in Canterbury please consider your neighbours? A minority of students may make more noise than they realise. A group of students may have an innocuous lunchtime conversation in the street, unheard by anyone nearby. The same conversation at night disturbs sleeping residents. There are a number of explanations for this phenomenon, not all of which are as obvious as one might imagine. A fall in night-time atmospheric and sound pressures contribute to an apparent increase in the number of decibels. A compounding factor may be Student night life and habits. Students frequent night-clubs /pubs - volume is likely high. Students raise their voices above the ambient noise to be heard. At night inside a building this becomes normal. Step outside the night club and into the community where residents are asleep and one no longer needs to shout. But because student ears have not yet readjusted to the silent noise levels of the community students are genuinely oblivious that they are shouting.
  • Alcohol can further reduce awareness of both the sound and the need to be considerate. Students may be having such a good time they can become unaware that residents are having a miserable time. Students may have come from detached homes where no one previously had cause to complain. Suddenly having arrived in Canterbury adjacent neighbours complain for the first time. The student logically deduces that the local residents must be unreasonable.
  • Listening to music with high base levels may not be loud in deciblels but may cause the whole house to vibrate - including the neighbour's on the other side of a terraced house.
  • Most people have experienced someone operating a vacuum cleaner unable to hear the telephone and someone else shouting in vain for their attention. Likewise someone wearing headphones singing along tunelessly to their favourite music at full volume may be oblivious to the high volume. Even when the headphones have been removed the person continues to shout for some time after unaware until others point out, "your're shouting!" The ones to point this out are most often the local residents, awakened and unable to return to sleep.
  • The following morning the student remains in bed asleep and later wonders what all the fuss was about. Meantime the local resident has the go to work at 6am suffering from sleep deprivation. Most of us are grumpy when our sleep is disturbed. Our minds do not immediately reason: “Oh yes, student frequents nightclub – loud ambient noise – woke me up - I am sleep deprived. Oh well that explains it - no need to complain then!” Wrong! The community rebel and campaign to oust students from theirs and your community.  Consequently future students struggle to find affordable student housing! Moral - students think b4-u-drink and drone.
  • Canterbury City Council is likely to introduce measures to curtail such nuisances via Article 4 directions. This creates a new requirment for planning permission before a landlord lets to a group of 3+ students or sharers. The proposed measures will restrict the number of student homes in Canterbury. This could result in high student housing demand and rent increases.
  • Think about yourselves if not your neighbours! In addition to the need for planning permission (which will seldom be granted if there are more than 20% students occupying a specific radius), Canterbury City Council is currently also considering whether to apply Additional Licensing in canterbury as part of any solution. It is questionable whether such actions will curb undesireable behaviour.  It is certain it will increase the cost of accommodation with no one deriving any benefit.
  • What do you think?
  • Please click to the poll enabling you to vote for or against Article 4 and Additional Licensing.