Locals in County Durham enjoy some of the most affordable house prices in the country, but they have been voicing their frustration about one particular downside.
Drug users and student party-goers are ravaging the county, with the low mortgage rates nothing more than a silver lining.
The once pretty town of Ferryhill is said to be awash with “druggies”, according to The Sun.
Paul Malpas, 43, who lives in the town, told The Sun Online: “It used to be a tight-knit community, now you don’t know who’s who.
“There’s a lot of druggies who are ruining the area and people flying past on motorbikes on the path where there are elderly people. It’s shocking.”
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The former maintenance worker told the publication that he has fitted CCTV at his parents’ house, something which other residents have done too.
Dad-of-two Andrew Haywoith says given the sorry condition of the town, property prices should be even lower.
He explained: “You have to be a millionaire to live in this country.
“I think the prices should be cheaper in Ferryhill as we don’t have a train station. There’s also a lot of crime.
“Just outside of the town centre there’s loads of smashed windows and boarded up homes. There are druggies. It’s terrifying for the kids.”
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Cornish couple Debbie and John Thurlbeck, 64, were flabbergasted when they moved to Durham from Cornwall.
She said: “You can scoop up a property for £15,000. But, you would also have to put money into that property and do it up.
She added: “There’s a lot of anti-social behaviour. They moved someone next to an elderly couple in their 80’s and they play loud music all the time.”
On top of the county’s drug problems, the university city of Durham is overrun with students according to locals.
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Kirsty Thomas, who is a retired teacher in her 80s was forthright about the issue, saying: “It is full and overwhelmed with far too many students.
“All the small houses are occupied by students and only for around five months of the year.
“All of the cheap properties are bought by landlords who divide it up into multiple occupancy homes, which wrecks them from the inside because of all the chopping and changing they do. It’s scandalous.
“It’s a great source of anger in Durham. It’s destroying our quality of life.
“There was a community here which has been ruined. It has undervalued the town.”
Her sentiment was shared by 50-year-old Alison Killeen, who owns her home in the city.
She said: “The prices have started to go up because of it so we’re being priced out and have to move further away from the city centre.
“I heard about one elderly woman who passed away and her house was snapped up for students within six weeks.”
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