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Huge Block Of Derby Students Evacuated Over Safety Concerns

Cathedral Court residents were told to move out of the building just before Christmas

Students living in a hall of residents with 350 rooms have been told they will not be allowed back for the rest of the academic year.

The University of Derby said it had been forced to close its Cathedral Court building following a fire survey.

A student from the University of Derby was refused entry to her student accommodation when she returned to the city to go to work after Christmas.

Students at Cathedral Court halls of residence in Cathedral Road, Derby city centre have been told that they cannot return to their rooms unless they are collecting belongings after a fire survey deemed that the building was unsafe.

The student accommodation opened in 2016 and offers students their own en-suite room charging £157.08 a week in rent.

In an email sent to students on December 22, the university said that there was not an increased risk of fire, "but in the event of one breaking out, it would be harder to contain its spread without making changes to the building."

A spokesperson from the University of Derby said based on a report received just prior to the Christmas break it made the decision to relocate students from Cathedral Court to another hall of residence.

 

The spokesperson said further assessments undertaken over the past two weeks have confirmed that "the required maintenance works will be noisy and intrusive, and not conducive to an enjoyable environment in which to live, study and socialise".

Charlotte Cooper, who is studying human biology at the University of Derby, said: "I tried to get to work here and they were like 'No, you can't even get into the building or anything,'.

"I had to stay in a hotel, come back home and then they sent an email the next day saying that they had to evict us all."

Charlotte is from Northampton and her parents have had to take a day off work to remove her belongings from the accommodation just months after they moved her in.

Charlotte's mum, Steph Cooper said: "We live 80 miles away and we've come up here to move her out when she has got an exam on Thursday and nowhere to go at the moment.

"They've offered us alternative Derby accommodation in a room with no en-suite facilities like this one and there is no compensation either.

"They said that she would be better off because the place she has been offered is half the price of this and in their mind that is really good value.

"We signed up for the Derby uni accommodation because it was secure and safe.

"We live miles away, if she is in trouble we know that she is safe here and she will be looked after by the site manager, but now we have got to try and find accommodation for her."

Charlotte said: "It is just kind of bad because I don't know where to stay, there are no houses. I was at work when I got the email so everyone else had booked the leftover accommodation.

"I have to walk to work and here is the perfect place because I can get there easily. The accommodation that they have offered me is miles and miles away so it will probably take an hour and a half just to get to work."

Charlotte has been offered a room at Princess Alice Court in Bridge Street but is worried about joining a new flat of strangers.

She said: "It's moving in with people who know each other already. They have spent four months with each other and my flatmates are very close with each other and if that is how everyone else is, then I'm just coming in as a random person for six months."

The last time Charlotte was allowed in her accommodation was in December and she is not due to move into Princess Alice Court until Tuesday, January 18.

 

Since Friday, January 7, the University of Derby has removed Cathedral Court from its listed accommodation on its website.

A spokesperson from the university said: “To ensure the safety of all our people, we carry out regular fire surveys on our buildings and act promptly on any changes we need to make.

"Based on a report received just prior to the Christmas break we made the decision to relocate students from Cathedral Court to another hall of residence.

“Further assessments undertaken over the past two weeks have confirmed that the required maintenance works will be noisy and intrusive, and not conducive to an enjoyable environment in which to live, study and socialise.

"Therefore, we have taken the difficult decision, in our student's best interests, to close Cathedral Court for the rest of this academic year.

“Our priority now is to ensure our students are supported to give them certainty in their living arrangements between now and the end of the academic year.”

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