Fury over students' late-night haka
- Credit: Denise Bradley/PA
Bleary-eyed homeowners were woken with a start as a group of 25 students performed a rowdy late-night haka in the middle of their street.
The haka is a loud ceremonial dance in Māori culture most readily associated with the New Zealand rugby teams.
But those living in Salter Avenue near the University of East Anglia have added the incident to a list of noise-related grievances which also includes chanting of the university's name in the early hours of the morning.
And as the weather begins to improve, there are concerns the noise levels coming from students will intensify again.
A petition has now collected 108 signatures from 71 households in Salter Avenue, Primula Drive, Morello Close, Penryn Close and Jasmine Close calling on Norwich City Council to maintain a fair balance of housing.
The petition is calling for an Article 4 Direction to limit the number of houses in multiple occupation in the neighbourhood.
Steve Keyworth, 49, of Salter Avenue set up the petition after his young family have been constantly disturbed by the noise.
Mr Keyworth, who has two primary school aged children, said: "Council tax goes up this year and yet we are kind of paying more and more for a lower quality of life.
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"When the summer months come round you can't open the windows at night because you are getting constantly woken up.
"There are people who are angry and their health has been affected both mentally and physically. But we feel like we are just not being listened to."
Data from the city council planning department in 2021 shows nearly 14pc of the total homes within the five roads in question are HMOs.
And Mr Keyworth conducted his own door-to-door survey in January which found 39 of the 120 homes are student houses or HMOs.
The petition states: "Some residents have felt intimidated by student tenants or even landlords when they have complained.
"Some have been forced to sell their homes due to ongoing noise problems. The homes are then bought by private landlords and so the problem continues."
A spokesman for the UEA said: "We recognise that UEA has a responsibility to the local community and we employ a Community Liaison team to support residents who may have had problems with the university or students living in the community.
"We would encourage anyone with any issues of this kind to refer to UEA’s Community Liaison Team webpage for more information and contact details."
The Liaison team hold regular meetings with Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Constabulary’s anti-social behaviour team.
And the UEA also provides Move Out Well drop-in sessions on campus for students moving out of halls and into external accommodation, which includes guidance on behaviour and how to be a respectful neighbour.
The city council has been contacted.
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