ANOTHER university year ends, bringing to a peak of misery the lives of many residents suffering the noise and other excesses around student houses of multiple occupation (HMO).

From 2009 especially, the university has lured into Durham far more students than the town can cope with and the university can look after properly. This has inflicted on residents the beastly effects I’ve mentioned, and other collateral harms very generally.

The students are not the delinquents here. They are a vastly innocuous crowd of youngsters who typically want to meet up and get to know new people, and hope for excitement in their lives.

Drink is the obvious social lubricant. It makes gatherings louder, and some people do silly things on it. Anyone who’s been a student knows these things.

I assume all the university top brass have been students. They will know that words like “responsible adults, now…” are pure, blame-shifting cant.

The university blithely plans another huge barrack development on Mount Oswald. What connects these things is the university’s continuing intransigence.

It will not acknowledge that its expansion has been accomplice to a civic hijack of the town knowingly pursued in utterly bad faith with ongoing horrible results.

It must be made to.

Nuisance HMO properties should be blacklisted and banned indefinitely from housing undergraduates, after which permitted occupants should be kept lower in number and be people at least slightly older and more long-term.

Neighbours who have endured nuisance properties have cast-iron evidence against them. It merely requires the will and process to penalise them in the way I suggest.

I hope our elected representatives are pursuing this.

The Mount Oswald development should be blocked, and the university pressurised to reduce its student numbers. Claims that the business model and world rankings are paramount, won’t wash. The real world here has been sacrificed to a discredited model and the personal fictions and ambitions of a few people. We want it back.

Nicholas Till, Durham