Proposed change of use from a single dwelling
into a 7 roomed HMO – DEVONSHIRE. Two objections had been received.
The relevant planning history
for the site was detailed within the report. The observations of the Specialist Advisor for
Waste were also summarised.
The observations of the East
Sussex County Council Highways department had been received and
were summarised as follows:
- The proposed change
of use from a single dwelling (currently licenced as a 6 room HMO)
to a 7 room HMO did not represent a significant increase in
potential traffic generation or parking demand.
- The site was close to
town, was well connected to local amenities and transport
- Due to property
layout, off-street parking could not be provided.
- The level of car
ownership associated with the site was highly likely to be lower
than for privately owned accommodation.
- It was not considered
that a recommendation for refusal could be justified as there would
be no severe impact, therefore the proposal was in accordance with
- The applicant may
wish to include cycle storage to promote alternative
The Specialist Advisor for HMO
Licencing stated that:
- The property was well
- The council had not
received any complaints with regards to the property.
A further objection had been
received and was summarised as follows:
- There were many HMOs
in the area, with accommodation let to non-students and
- There had been
numerous problems associated with HMOs were evident in the area,
e.g. noise, anti-social behaviour, poorly managed refuse issues,
car parking issues and “studentification”.
- There had been two
past instances of residences in Willowfield Road being used for the
supply of drugs, both requiring police intervention.
- A survey of local
owner residents would confirm the above issues and that the area
could not cope with further HMO properties.
A statement had been received
from the applicant in support of the application responding to the
issues raised by objectors and was summarised as
- The landlord had the
managed property since 2010 and took great pride in providing
tenants with decent and affordable accommodation, which enhanced
the local area and community. Prior to this the property had been
badly managed and neglected. It had been on the market for many
months, there was no interest from family purchasers.
investment in renovation had been made in the property which
required significant maintenance. As well as on-going maintenance
and repair works the landlord wished to make further improvements
to ensure they could keep the dwelling up to current day
- The landlord actively
managed the property, working with tenants to ensure they were
comfortable and satisfied with their accommodation whilst ensuring
they recognised their role and impact within the immediate
- Over the last 6 years
the landlord had assisted dozens of people to establish themselves
in the local labour and housing markets. Typically tenants stayed
between 1-3 years and moved on to self-contained living, renting or
purchase their own homes.
- The landlord had
never knowingly had any behavioural problems amongst
- The landlord
regularly talked to immediate neighbours to ensure there were no
issues, making sure the property was kept clean and tidy, bins
properly managed, etc.
- The minority of
‘landlords’ did not take the same proactive approach
and create a bad name for decent landlords.
For clarification the
accommodation schedule for the approximate floor space available
for each room (including the proposed room) at 9 Willowfield Road
was as follows:
- Bedroom 1,
- Bedroom 2,
- Bedroom 3,
- Bedroom 4,
10.2m2 + 1m2 built-in cupboard space
- Bedroom 5,
- Bedroom 6,
- Bedroom 7
(proposed room), 11.3m2
RESOLVED: (By 7 votes with
1 abstention) That permission be refused on the grounds
that the proposal by reason of the creation of the 7th
bedroom within the property would result in an over-concentration
of independent living rooms and a consequent reduction in communal
space. It is considered that this arrangement would provide (in
planning terms) a poor quality living environment.
Should the applicant appeal the
decision the appropriate course of action to be followed, taking
into account the criteria set by the Planning Inspectorate, is
considered to be written representations.