A property industry figure representing hundreds of private landlords in the north-east of England has queried some of Newcastle city council's latest plans for housing.

The local authority is in the process of developing new accommodation for the region's student population - but National Landlords Association (NLA) regional organiser for the north-east Johnny Lighten is unsure about the motives behind the move.

Councillor Ron Armstrong (Liberal Democrat, North Jesmond) is chairing a city council committee that aims to build student flats in Gallowgate, Percy Street and Half Moon Yard, to draw the university population out of areas like Jesmond and Heaton.

But according to Mr Lighten, students will not want to live in designated blocks and many of them enjoy being part of the community in Jesmond and surrounding parts of Newcastle.

"Manipulating students into purpose-built blocks shifts the problem [of alleged unsocial behaviour] and will leave Jesmond and its local economy greatly damaged,"he explained.

Newcastle University itself is currently undergoing redevelopment, with £200 million going on changing buildings and infrastructure.

Written by Claire Doyle

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