Thursday, 16 March 2017 10:08

Local Business 5 Portsmouth Planning 0

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Local Business 5 Portsmouth Planning 0

Not a game of football, but the outcome after 5 planning decisions where appealed.

To be fair to the planning dept., their officers recommended each of the applications were approved but the planning committee, after hearing objectons from NIMBY residents, decided to ignore the advice of the professionals and to go ahead and reject the applications. In each case, the applicant appealed and on review of the specific case, the inspector upheld the appeal and granted the application. 

Specific details...

Case 1 - Anstey Hotel, 116-188 Clarendon Road

The application was for change of use from hotel (class C1) to a 25 bedroom HMO. The planning committee believed the change would lead to an unacceptable increase in activity, noise and disturbance and would be at odds with the prevailing character of the area.

In the inspectors view, the proposed use would not be materially different from its current use and on the impact on the area, he said, "It would not adversely affect the external decoration or remaining Victorian features"

Case 2 - 11 Malvern Road

The application was for a change of use to a 9 bed HMO (sui generis) plus a new garage at the rear. The planning committee again objected on the grounds of increased activity and noise plus the adverse impact on the viability of neighbouring hotels, to the detriment of the economy of the city. They also argued that the development would have a significant effect on the Portsmouth Harbour and Chichester and Langstone Harbours Special Protection Areas though without more detail, it is hard to see why. The inspector threw out all of these objections, allowed the development but did not award costs as the appellant submitted them too late.

Case 3 - 149a Albert Road

This was the request to turn the old, first floor Conservative Club into a lap dancing venue. Am sure there are many amusing comments that could be made at this point, but the editor has chosen not to do so...

Case 4 - 37 Margate Road

This was a requested change from C3/C4 (small HMO/family) to 7 bed HMO. Objections were based on increased activity and the inspector noted, "The current use of the property for C4 purposes would enable occupation by up to six residents. The appeal concerns the accommodation being increased by 1 additional bedroom.... However, this would not change the nature of use"

Case 5 - 11 Baileys Road

This was a requested change from C3/C4 (small HMO/family) to 8 bed HMO. Objections were based on increased activity and the inspector noted, "The current use of the property for C4 purposes would enable occupation by up to six residents. The appeal concerns the accommodation being increased by 2 additional bedrooms.... However, this would not change the nature of use"

It is interesting that this committee had Policy PCS20 drafted, written and approved to give them reasons to reject applications for HMO's - it argued for 'mixed and balanced communities' even though the planning committee frequently votes for homogenous and thus unbalanced communities. In his report on several applications, the inspector commented, "the policy (PCS20) is clear in that it states 'for the purposes of this policy, dwellings in use as Class C4,  mixed C3/C4 use and HMOs in sui generis use will be considered to be HMOs'. Consequently, as the appeal property already has consent for C4 use, the proposal could not result in an increase in concentration of HMO's in the city".

If we were less balanced, we would say this argues a strong case for upgrading existing C4's - which already command a premium in the market due to their scarcity - to large sui generis HMOs...

Last modified on Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:22

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