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April 18, 2016

UK Neighbors Prefer Porn Studio to Middle-Income Housing

BRISTOL, UK—Here's a twist on an old meme: Neighbors in the St. George section of Bristol would rather that the two-story brick building that until recently housed an adult webcam business remain as a porn studio rather than have it converted into studio apartments that, area residents fear, will be rented to low-income or immigrant populations. "The porn studio wasn't really a problem and any problems we did have we spoke to the owner and it got sorted," Naomi Maggs, who's lived across the street from the studio for 11 years, told the Daily Star. "But this is going to be 40 people coming and going every six months. It's going to drive people out of St George." Currently, Bristol, which is located in the southwestern area of England, counts just under half a million residents, and is the sixth largest city in the country. The city (and county) has long been an important seaport, and its airport saw the maiden flight of the supersonic Concorde aircraft. About 59,000 Bristolians are employed in financial services positions—and according to developer Mike Hobbins, who currently owns the porn studio building, that's the type of population he envisions renting flats in the structure. Hobbins' plans for the structure include the creation of one-bedroom apartments that include a bathroom, with a communal kitchen and laundry rooms to be shared by all tenants. There's no arrangement for car parking, but space for 50 bicycles will be provided. "I think this is part of the way we are solving the housing crisis," Hobbins stated, adding that he was not seeking overseas workers as tenants, but rather business professionals. At present, more than 35 local residents have objected to the remodeling/reimagining of the building, and their complaints will be heard by the Bristol City Council in May. Pictured: The studio, along with its founders, Phil and Cathy Barrie.

 
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