Housing company lets down Lincoln students

Starting university life should be exciting, but one future Lincoln student was among a number who suddenly lost their accommodation after a housing company switched from one city uni to another.

Hannah Wood, who is set to study the Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Programme at Bishop Grosseteste University, was forced to find new accommodation after a surprise announcement by Cherry Tree Homes.

The Longdales Lodge accommodation on the corner of Nettleham Road and Ruskin Avenue had been managed by Bishop Grosseteste University since it was built a few years ago, but was transferred to the University of Lincoln just weeks before the start of term.

Bishop Grosseteste University said it is working to help the affected students after many, including Hannah, received an email stating their places could no longer be offered despite having already signed a contract.

Student Hannah Wood lost her place at Longdales Lodge after a surprise announcement by Cherry Tree Homes.

The email explained that Cherry Tree Homes signed a new lease with the University of Lincoln instead, so all rooms would be allocated from their accommodation office.

Hannah has since luckily found alternative accommodation, but she was left feeling frustrated by the situation.

She told The Lincolnite: “When I found out I started crying. We had already been stressed after two people pulled out, but this was sorted, and then the email came which was unapologetic and made me feel upset with just five weeks to find somewhere new to live.

“Rachel Crane from the accommodation office at BGU has been a great help and supported us. Luckily we have found something, I rang round some agencies and we got a five-bedroom place and signed contracts yesterday (August 13).”

The concierge at Longdales Lodge, Adrian, responded to Hannah on social media via his wife’s Facebook page to clarify facts about the situation.

Universities’ response

A spokesperson for Bishop Grosseteste University said: “We have been made aware of the situation involving Cherry Tree Homes by our students, and our Accommodation Team are already working with those affected ahead of the upcoming academic year.

“Any students who are still in need of support can contact our Accommodation Office on 01522 583707/ 585642.”

A spokesperson for the University of Lincoln added: “Last week the University of Lincoln entered into an agreement to lease Longdales Lodge.

“We have since discovered that there are Bishop Grosseteste students who believed that they had tenancy agreements in place.

“At this time our primary concern is for those students. Our understanding is that Bishop Grosseteste University is working with them and is resolving the problem.

“We will support Bishop Grosseteste to ensure that students impacted can find suitable alternative accommodation so that they can start their university journey here in September in Lincoln.”

Reporters tried to contact Cherry Tree Homes for a response, but there was no reply by the time of publication.