Agenda item - BH2020/00240 -2C Lansdowne Place, Hove BN3 1HG - Full Planning

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Agenda item

BH2020/00240 -2C Lansdowne Place, Hove BN3 1HG - Full Planning


Ward Affected: Brunswick and Adelaide


            Change of use from single dwelling house (C3) to a seven-bedroom house in multiple occupation (Sui Generis) (part retrospective)


(1)        It was noted that an in-depth presentation had been provided by officers in advance of the meeting and was included on the council website detailing the scheme by reference to site plans, floor plans, elevational drawings and photographs which also showed the proposed scheme in the context of neighbouring development.


(2)        The application site was one of a pair of new white rendered town houses built over 4 storeys with a basement level. A small area of open space was located in front of the basement communal space and since its completion the property had been in C3 use as holiday lets. This application sought change of use from C3 to a sui-generis 7 bedroom house in multiple occupation. Much of the construction work to facilitate the change of use had already been undertaken and the application description had been amended to reflect the part-retrospective nature of the application.


(3)        The main considerations in determining this application related to the principle of the change of use, its impacts on neighbouring amenity, the standard of accommodation which the HMO use would provide and the transport impacts. Based on the existing percentage of neighbouring properties in HMO use, which was not greater than 10%, the proposed change would not conflict with policy CP21 and all of bedrooms would be over 7.5msq of floor space although some only just achieved it, they were also of an acceptable layout in terms of room to circulate and all would have natural light from windows. Floorspace calculations did not include the en-suite bathrooms which would provide additional space for occupants. Whilst there were constraints on the communal space it was considered that the openness of the space was sufficient to provide seating for future occupants to dine, relax and prepare meals and was also compensated for by the fact that a number of the rooms in the property were above the 7.5msq set out in the NDSS; approval was therefore recommended.


          Public Speakers


(4)        Councillor Clare spoke in her capacity as a Local Ward Councillor setting out her objections to the scheme on the grounds of noise and overdevelopment. Residents had raised concerns regarding noise disturbance generated by the current AirBnB, “party house” use and it was considered that doubling the number of bedrooms would increase that. This was the second application for HMO use in quick succession and would result in a greater intensification of use within the existing envelope. Residents had expressed concern regarding the number of HMO’s already in existence in the area. Also, this would not provide a good housing mix.


(5)        Mr Giles spoke on behalf of the applicants in support of their application. The application had been the result of detailed discussions which had taken place with officers and works had been undertaken in order to transform it from its former use, potentially as a party house and to provide a good standard of accommodation for future occupiers.


(6)        In answer to questions by Councillor MacCafferty, who was familiar with the application site and problems which had arisen from the previous use it was explained that it was intended that the target market was towards young single professionals, it was not located in an area or at a price point which would make it suitable for student housing and the property would cease to be used as a holiday letting. The Head of Planning, Liz Hobden, advised that occupancy of the accommodation could not be controlled by condition and the application being considered was for any occupant. Whilst the agent had indicated that young professionals would be the target market for the units, occupancy by students could not be precluded.


(7)        Councillor Fishleigh asked whether/what consultation had taken place with local residents regarding local residents concerns, given that local parents had expressed concern regarding nuisance generated by the previous short let, party house use.


            Questions of Officers


(8)        Councillor Theobald stated that she had visited the site and had noted that major internal alterations had been undertaken, stated that she was concerned that significant noise nuisance could arise to the neighbouring property via the party wall. Councillor Theobald asked whether/what arrangements had been put into place to mitigate against any noise penetration to the neighbouring property.


(9)        Councillor Mac Cafferty noted the points made by Councillor Theobald and asked whether it would be possible to add a condition to any permission granted seeking to ensure that adequate sound proofing works were undertaken. The Legal Adviser to the Committee, Hilary Woodward, explained that any additional condition would need to be considered to be reasonable and could be appealed against, it was noted that Environmental Health had not raised objections to the application. Councillor Mac Cafferty indicated that if the Committee were minded to grant planning permission he wished to propose that a condition be added seeking that suitable soundproofing be provided.


(10)      Councillor Miller asked whether the mapping exercise carried out had taken account of the number of individual HMO units as he was aware that a number of buildings in the area had been converted/subdivided. It was confirmed that all units had been included. Councillor Miller also noted that the units were referred to as double bedroom sized, asking whether it would be possible to prevent visitors from staying overnight in order to limit occupancy and minimise potential noise nuisance. It was confirmed that would not be possible.


(11)      Councillor Hill, the Chair enquired whether the application property mirrored its neighbour in terms of its layout and room sizes and whether that was also intended to be used as an HMO


          Debate and Decision Making Process


(12)      Councillor Miller stated that he did not support the application which he considered would result in cramped living conditions which would result in overdevelopment and could be occupied by more than 7 individuals on occasion.


(13)      Councillor Fishleigh concurred in that view.


(14)      Councillors Janio, Shanks and Yates stated that they supported the scheme, which they considered would be an improvement on the previous use.


(15)      Councillor Mac Cafferty stated that he supported the scheme but remained of the view that a condition should be added to ensure soundproofing was undertaken in order to protect neighbouring amenity.


(16)      Councillor Hill, the Chair stated that she could not support the scheme and would not be voting in support. She considered that the communal area which was provided at basement level and had limited natural daylight was inadequate, the property was not suitable for HMO accommodation in her view.


(17)      A vote was taken and Members voted by 6 to 4 that planning it would be appropriate for a condition to be added to any permission granted to seek to ensure that soundproofing works were undertaken. Councillor Mac Cafferty proposed that a condition was provided in respect of soundproofing measures, this was seconded by Councillor Yates. A further vote was then taken and on a vote of 6 to 4 that a planning permission was granted. Officers were authorised to agree the wording in consultation with the Chair, the proposer and seconder.


129.4    RESOLVED – That the Committee has taken into consideration and agrees with the reasons for the recommendation set out in the report and resolves to GRANT planning permission subject to the Conditions and Informatives also set out in the report. An additional condition to be added in to seek to ensure appropriate soundproofing measures are put into place as referred to in paragraph 17 above.

Supporting documents:


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