Appeal has lodged after council refused plan for 10-bedroom house to be used for multiple occupation in South Shields
Earlier this year, the local authority’s planning committee rejected an application for a development at 38 Baring Street in the town’s Beacon and Bents ward.
The accommodation was described in planning documents as “serviced apartments for tourist and visitor accommodation within a desired location”.
A planning statement submitted to council officials also outlined how the application was retrospective as applicants were initially “not aware the change of use required planning permission”.
During council consultation on the plans, 19 objections were submitted by residents raising concerns over impacts on the general character of the area, the number of HMOs in the town and parking problems.
At a Planning Committee meeting in May, 2023, councillors voted by seven votes to six to reject the HMO plan after concerns were raised.
This included concerns about the rising number of HMOs in the area and the cumulative negative impact such properties can have.
The decision was taken against the advice of council planning officers, who had deemed the scheme “appropriate in principle” and recommended it for approval.
It has been confirmed that the applicant has challenged the council refusal decision and submitted an appeal to the national Planning Inspectorate.
A planning inspector will now be appointed by the Secretary of State to rule on the matter, which could lead to the council’s refusal decision being upheld or thrown out.
An appellant statement, published on the council’s website, criticised the reason for refusal linked to the Planning Committee’s decision.
The council’s refusal reason cited the “cumulative impacts with other HMO uses in the locality, leading to adverse impacts on residential amenity and the character and nature of the locality”.
Appellants noted the HMO would have a “lower occupancy rate than that of the previous use as a boarding house” and that the refusal reason was based on “assertions”.
The appellant statement adds: “The council has provided one reason for refusal that is based on vague, generalised or inaccurate assertions that are entirely contradictory and unsubstantiated relative to the reasoned justifications provided by officers in the Planning Committee report recommended for approval by officers.
“There is no evidence or justification put forward by the council to demonstrate the proposals will lead to cumulative impacts of HMO uses, or that the proposals will have an unacceptable or significant detrimental impact on the amenity and or character and nature of the locality.
“The use of the property as a 10-bedroom HMO would have an acceptable impact upon the amenity of neighbouring residential occupiers and would not result in unacceptable levels of increased coming and goings and general disturbance.
“The appellant is strongly of the opinion that with the appropriate management of the property as suggested, the impact is not significant enough to warrant the refusal of planning permission”.
Those behind the appeal noted there was a planning condition to limit the number of bedrooms and that HMO tenants would “likely self-police themselves if there is disturbance”.
More on the application and appeal at the council’s planning portal website and search reference: ST/1003/22/FUL