How many students?

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Dear Spurtle 

I read with interest your article about the various planning applications and existing student accommodation in the Leith area ('Putting a number to student arrivals', Issue 279). 

You invite us to 'reach our own conclusions' based on the number of students, namely 2,362, but you don't give us a figure for the total population in the area affected. Without this information, we can't reach any conclusions, as it's impossible to work out what percentage of the population the number of 2,362 students represents or if it comes anywhere near the 30% cap intended by CEC.

By the way, I would fully support such a cap, and probably put it at less than 30%. At the same time, it's important to remember that the students themselves have no influence over where these flats are built, and should not be made to feel unwelcome. 

Elke Cradden

Dear Elke

You make a good point.

CEC's original datazones do not correlate exactly to the population figures to which Spurtle has access, so we don't have a precise answer.

However, based on Leith Walk Ward's 2017 population of 33,580, we guestimate the 2,362 additional students since 2006 constitute about 7 per cent. If you add these recent arrivals to the population of students not living in new-built accommodation (we have no idea how many they are), that percentage would be higher.

The 7% figure may seem low, but one should remember there also exist particularly acute hyperlocal concentrations of students in certain areas, such as that including Shrub and Murano Places.

We agree about not being horrid to them.

The Editor