Council gives go-ahead to 11-bed South Shields house of multiple occupation

The building where flats are planned in  Fowler Street, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID
The building where flats are planned in Fowler Street, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID

Plans to convert some former offices into a 11-bed house in multiple occupation (HMO) in South Shields have been given the green light.

In recent months, a ‘change of use’ bid was lodged for the upper floors of a vacant building in Fowler Street, South Shields.

According to documents submitted to South Tyneside Council, the site was used for shop store rooms but was converted into offices in 2005.

The new plans include accommodation for 11 people, a common room, shared bathrooms and kitchens and a external staircase to the rear.

Future tenants will also be able to access the flats from Fowler Street and use a shared bin store behind, in Back Fowler Street.

South Tyneside Council planners approved the plans on April 18 and have ordered the applicants to complete works within three years.

Due to the town centre location, a report states, no car parking needs to be provided for the HMO.

Last year, South Tyneside Council’s Place Select Committee launched a review into HMOs in the borough as part of a drive to improve housing standards and tenant safety.

This includes plans to “map” HMO locations and provide more information on tenants and the private sector companies linked to them.

In the case of Fowler Street, planners concluded there were “no concerns in relation to possible crime or fear of crime” linked to the proposals.

A planning report adds: “The location of the proposal is not within a residential area, given its town centre location, but there are a very limited number of upper floor residential flats in the general surrounds.

“There are no other HMOs in close proximity. In this context, the proposal is not considered to harm residential amenity.”

Before tenants can move in, applicants also need to win a HMO licence from South Tyneside Council.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service.