Individual planning applications and appeals from 2012 onwards
Wild Lime Bar Licensing Application – outcome, March 2015
The Licensing application for the Wild Lime Bar in the Portwood Centre to trade from 7 am to 3 am has been withdrawn in the face of opposition from residents. The Highfield Residents Association opposed this Licensing Application.
General Planning Matters (current)
CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS NEW POLICY ON HMO APPLICATIONS
The City Council’s Cabinet has now adopted a revised Supplementary Policy Document on Houses in Multiple Occupation.
Changes from the previous version are:
The 10% threshold within 40 m or 10+ properties, which previously applied only to the three northern wards, will now apply city-wide as guidance for refusal of an application for conversion to an HMO. (The 20% threshold which previously applied to the remainder of the city therefore no longer exists.)
Any new application which would involve ‘sandwiching’ a family home between two HMOs will normally be refused.
The guidelines for exceptional consent to an HMO application, where an owner has been unable to sell for family occupation due to the existing density of HMOs in the vicinity, has been clarified as where 80% of properties within the threshold area are already HMOs.
The wording on applications for extensions to existing HMOs has been strengthened to give greater emphasis to amenities and parking issues.
Though these are modest positive gains, our proposal that thresholds should relate to population density as well as just properties, as in some other cities, that there should be a ward-wide threshold, and that Halls of Residence should be taken into account has been rejected on grounds of complexity in relation to resourcing of the Planning Department.
Appeal Decision for 53 Chamberlain Road – 19th January 2016
I attach an Appeal Decision just forwarded by Mathew (Cllr Claisse) which is interesting in a number of ways: and I commend you all to read it. My own observations are as follows…
· This was a Permitted Development application which as you will know, needs to be challenged by a neighbour if it is not to go through automatically, hence this Appeal.
· The primary reasons for the dismissal of the Appeal was that it would be “harmful to the living conditions of those at No. 51 Chamberlain Road”. (interestingly an existing HMO it would seem)
· At para 3. The Inspector says… The adjoining neighbour referred, amongst other things, to the proposal leading to an additional House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and to overdevelopment and loss of parking. Although these were not matters of concern raised by the Council (its concerns were on the visual impact of the proposal) they are matters that could potentially affect the living conditions of the neighbour. It is disappointing perhaps that the Council did not include these as reasons for the original refusal?
· The Inspector was clearly not going to have the wool pulled over his eyes here, for at para 5. he says… The application plans show that the proposal would result in 6 bedrooms being created at this semi-detached property. This is an uncommonly large number for a semi-detached house of this modest size even extended as proposed.
· At para 8 he says the development would be oppressive and intrusive and further there is a public interest in preventing development that many would find harmful i.e. even if that property is owned by the same person or is an existing HMO as appears to be the case here.
So another good result for Highfield and a further illustration of the need for vigilance and continuing opposition to inappropriate development.
Jerry Gillen, Vice Chair
New Permitted Development Order – now published, April 2015
Eric Pickles has now published a new Town & Country Planning Act covering all permitted development with the conditions pertaining to each development whether extra building or a change of sue. It’s all there in a long document, and should be useful for reference whenever a problem of permitted development arises.
New Permitted Development Order – come into effect April 2015
A new General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) comes into effect next week, 15 April 2015. The UCO (Use Classes Order, 1987) provides classes of land usage, and normally, change of use between these classes is not permitted. But the GPDO provides exceptions.
The original GPDO came into effect in 1995. The new GPDO, Statutory Instrument 2015 No 596, replaces this on 15 April 2015. In some respects this is helpful, as the original GPDO has been subject to continual amendment (22 times in fact!). But the new GPDO also drives huge holes through the UCO.
‘A’ Use Classes cover retail (shops), financial & professional services, cafes & restaurants, pubs and take-aways. Until now. change of use between these classes required permission – now, virtually anything can be converted to anything else, without permission (the one exception is conversion to a pub).
‘C’ classes include dwellinghouses and small HMOs – these can still be converted either way.
Most of the other permitted development (PD) allows pretty well anything to be converted to a dwellinghouse – shops, offices, storage, agricultural buildings.
Under Article 4 of the GPDO, local authorities can revoke specified PD rights in designated areas. Many have done so, requiring landlords to seek permission to convert a dwellinghouse to a HMO. Article 4 Directions can be used to remove other PD rights.
You can find a link to the new GPDO at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/planning-update-march-2015 under ‘Change of use’. Or go to http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/pdfs/uksi_20150596_en.pdf
Highfield House Hotel – March 2015
The Highfield Residents Association and many local residents have welcomed the news that plans to convert the Highfield House Hotel into student accommodation have been withdrawn. The hotel will now be refurbished.
B&Q, Portswood Road – March 2015
Following the landowners’ refusal to renew B&Q’s Portswood Road lease, the landowners have now submitted a planning application to the Council for 528 student units.
Report of HMO Scrutiny Panel