Planning enforcement notice upheld on HMO conversion
An appeal against a planning enforcement notice for converting a small HMO without permission has been dismissed by the government’s planning inspector.
The enforcement notice was issued on 15 March last year for 249 Queens Park Road in Brighton. The owner had changed its use from a small house in multiple occupation (HMO) to a large HMO.
Retrospective planning permission for the eight-bedroomed HMO was refused. An appeal against the refusal was also dismissed in February 2018. At the time the planning inspector said the development provided unacceptable living conditions, particularly in the basement where there was a lack of natural light.
A planning enforcement notice was issued in March 2018 and this was the subject of the most recent appeal.
Planning policy and HMOs
Councillor Julie Cattell, chair of the city’s planning committee, said: “This was clearly not acceptable. Our planning policies help achieve a balance between HMOs and other types of accommodation and support decent living conditions.
“Queens Park Road is an area where there is already a high concentration of HMOs which can have a negative impact on the environment. The inspector commented that we had good reason to refuse planning permission.”
Planning inspector Graham Self noted, ‘there is a legitimate public interest in trying to maintain a reasonably good standard of residential environment in dwellings in Brighton.’
The owner has five months to convert the property back to a smaller HMO (maximum six bedrooms).
Find out about planning permission for HMOs
Where are HMOs located in Brighton & Hove? Search our map
HMOs must also be licensed. Find out more about this scheme.