'Enough is enough' - that's the message from Winnall residents who fear their lives could be tipped upside down if proposals for a new 158-bed block of student accommodation are approved.

Plans are under consideration for a "huge" development for housing and offices spanning 2,100sqm on the corner of Winnall Manor Road and Winnall Valley Road.

It would be the fifth student block locally alongside Erasmus Park, Balfour House, The Cavendish and SuperUni Housing.

Concerned locals say the area is rapidly falling foul of 'studentification' and have called for action by the city council.

Ron Frampton, 73, has lived in Winnall Manor Road for 13 years. He suffers from PTSD due to his military background - which saw him serve in Bosnia - and said "feral" students are making his life a misery.

"What Winnall desperately needs is a park & ride and that site would have been ideal for it," he said. "It doesn't take the brains of an archbishop to see that with the existing blocks you're potentially looking at 700 students all living in this small part of Winnall - it's just not right.

"Students just don't care about the residents who live here, they walk down the middle of the road in fours and fives, never get out of anybody's way and aren't at all considerate with the noise they're making at night. The people who make these decisions aren't from round here, they don't know what it's like."

Hampshire Chronicle: Sam Feltham outside the site

Mr Frampton lives next to a HMO rented to students and says he's often woken by loud music and slamming doors. He's also smelt former tenants smoking marijuana in the garden, which he says exacerbates his lung condition.

READ MORE: Plans for "huge" new 158-bed block of student accommodation in Winchester submitted to City Council

Current Winchester City Councillor for St Bartholomew, Kathleen Becker, said the idea behind the proposed block was to get students out of HMOs and reclaim those properties for families. However, Mr Frampton insists it will only worsen the issue.

"Students don't want to live in blocks for three years they want to get their own houses," he said. "If the house next to me was a pub in Winchester the landlord would have had his licence taken away with the amount of antisocial behaviour we've had to put up with. But these HMOs seem to be bulletproof.

"Next door to us used to be a lovely little two bed, now it has six people living in it. Pure greed is all it is.

"This planning madness needs putting a stop to immediately. There should be nothing else for the students in Winnall anymore. The two blocks down the road must have 150-200 students going in there with 38 parking spaces, where are they going to put their cars? As ever it's we the plebs who have to put up with this. I just fear this is going to go through and we'll be left with the lumps and bumps. I've just got no faith in the city council, it's just not fit for purpose."

Sue Holberry, 76, spent 38 years working for the NHS and almost 50 living in Winnall. She said her neighbour is "desperate" to get out.

"We bought our house knowing it was on the edge of an industrial estate, and that's fair do's," she said. "But leave it as an industrial estate, don't turn it in to a student village - that's not what we signed up for."

Sam Feltham, who lives in Winnall and ran as a Conservative candidate at the May election, has started a petition to kick back against the plans.

He's been handing out leaflets to residents who say they weren't properly informed about the plans. So far, 157 residents have backed the petition.

He said: "This most recently proposed student accommodation goes against the Winnall Planning Framework, the aim of which was to maximise opportunities for active lifestyles and to provide services that make communities attractive and safe places to live.

"There are a lot of inconsiderate students and I guess that's partly because they're in and out. They live here for a year and then move on. One of the things I'm really concerned about is if they do start to come this much further with the student accommodation blocks, what's to say developers aren't going to start approaching all the other industrial units.

"Then we're left with an entire street of student accommodation all down Winnall Valley Road. It would be insane. It's about pushing back now to show the council we don't want anymore students. We've got four large accommodation blocks already, a fifth would just completely tip the balance. I don't mind having students in Winnall, but at the moment it feels like families are being pushed to the side."

A report supporting the application said: “The Winchester School of Art in conjunction with the University of Southampton intend to redevelop and expand their campus in the coming years. Increased investment and development into the campuses will lead to a growing student population in need of accommodation.”

SEE ALSO: LETTER: Short memories over student housing in Winnall

In a previous response to objections regarding River Park proposals and the number of students in the city, the university said: “The increased numbers of students who may study in the city may lead to concerns regarding housing. The university is clear that appropriate provision must be made off site.”

Current Winchester City Councillor for St Bartholomew, Kathleen Becker, formerly said: “We are aware of the planning application and over the past few weeks we have been knocking on a lot of doors in Winnall, so people are aware of it. Those living in the flats were all sent a letter, and certainly those living close by have all been notified.

“The main concern in Winnall is the number of HMOs which students tend to occupy, thereby taking them out of circulation as family homes. The residents we have spoken to bar one have been supportive of the application because they understand purpose-built student accommodation will relieve the pressure on those HMOs and get those properties back as family homes.

“It is an issue in Winnall, there are a lot of students in the area which is why we put an Article 4 direction in place to stop the conversion of more homes into HMOs and we are continually working with families to stop that from happening.”

A planning application was lodged with the city council by Merlion Capital Ltd on December 20, and the time allowed for objecting to the application expired on March 3. Further details can be found on the city council's website by searching the following application number: 21/03239/OUT.

To view the petition, visit: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/object-to-the-proposed-158-bed-purpose-built-student-accommodation-on-winnall-manor-road

| What do you think? Write to letters@hampshirechronicle.co.uk

A message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support.

Subscribing means you have unrestricted access to the latest news and reader rewards - all with an advertising-light website.

Don't take my word for it – subscribe here to see for yourself.

Looking to advertise an event? Then check out our free events guide.

Want to keep up with the latest news and join in the debate? You can find and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.