Anger over HMO plans for Portsmouth's Chichester Road

It would be “morally bankrupt” and “insulting to residents” for Portsmouth City Council to approve more HMO plans on Chichester Road, a councillor has said.
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The North End road has been the subject of controversy due to three separate planning applications to build houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), with Applecore PDM Limited acting as the agent for all three. If permission is granted by Portsmouth City Council, 115 and 82 Chichester Road could become seven-bedroom HMOs and 170 would boast eight bedrooms. So far all three applications have received 50 letters of objection in total, with 115 attracting the lion’s share of the objections including from Copnor Councillor Benedict Swan.

He wrote: “The notion that properties designed and built with three bedrooms are now proposed to have seven bedrooms (and in the case of 170 Chichester Road, eight bedrooms) each is frankly ludicrous and pays zero regard to the effects on the local area and utilities.

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He raised further concerns about houses being left empty for months, taking away family dwellings from the city’s housing market. He added this is being done “purely out of greed by unscrupulous developers” who are only interested “in lining their pockets”. He described the planning system in Portsmouth as “broken” and approving any more of the schemes would be “morally bankrupt”.

Chichester Road, PortsmouthChichester Road, Portsmouth
Chichester Road, Portsmouth

Another comment, written by local resident Rachel Patterson, described the plans for 82 Chichester Road as a “ridiculous” situation. “It is quite unbelievable that any such application would be accepted in this area,” she said. “I can only reiterate and agree with all my fellow neighbour’s objections. The area cannot support any more cars, vans and trucks parking as it is already over congested. The loss of yet another family home, The stress on the sewerage system. There are no positive or acceptable reasons for this proposal to go through.”

Applecore PDM Limited said it offers a wide range of development services and has converted numerous buildings across Portsmouth into “high-quality” HMOs. It claims that it has a very high success rate in appealing against “poor planning decisions made by officers and, more commonly, committee members”. Few details have been submitted with the applications (23/01544/FUL, 23/01530/FUL and 23/01527/FUL) for a change of use, with no statements to give context to the developer’s plans.