Since 2017, all of EUC’s first-year students have been required to live in the building on Stadhuisplein. Casper Slagter, student and chairman of the Erasmus University College Student Association (EUCSA), lived there himself for a year. “It can get pretty bad. Sometimes the music would rattle my windows.” He has also heard from the students currently living there that they are regularly bothered by the bars and restaurants. DCMR has drawn the conclusion that the living conditions in the student accommodation are difficult at the moment.
The local authority’s land use plan includes livening up the city centre and the arrival of the student residences was meant to help with this. The noise pollution created by the nightlife venues has jeopardised this plan. The report states that the combining of housing with bars and restaurants on Stadhuisplein can only continue if the catering establishments introduce measures. Although improved insulation of the student accommodation could reduce the noise to a certain extent, the solution has to come from the relevant bars and restaurants.
Not an easy solution
Closing the terraces from 7:00 P.M., no more outdoor loudspeakers, and improving insulation should help, but the hospitality entrepreneurs are afraid this won’t be enough and additionally, it will be difficult to implement. EUR has announced that no solution has yet been found, and that there won’t be any alternative accommodation for the students either. Quite simply, there is no short-term solution and EUR has a contractual obligation to Lucia’s owner. The university has said that a solution would require ‘constructive consultation between all parties involved’.
Slagter describes it as a difficult situation for both parties, but he doesn’t have a ready-made solution either. “I’ve heard from a lot of students that it bothers them, but I understand the catering operators too . It’s just a fact of life that people on a night out make a lot of noise. It’s a great place to go out, and it would be a huge pity if they had to close everything down.”
The noise pollution problems have been around for some time and measures have already been put in place to restrict the dB levels. In December 2017, the NRC wrote about the noise on Stadhuisplein and how, for example, the Après Skihut stopped using a ‘horn’ because it was getting on EUC students’ nerves.