Half-victory for residents over plans for two Portsmouth HMOs

CAMPAIGNING residents experienced a half victory as controversial plans for one shared home were rejected, while proposals for its neighbouring property were approved.

Saturday, 30th January 2021, 11:00 am

This week Portsmouth City Council's planning committee considered proposals to convert two former shops in Twyford Avenue, in Stamshaw, into houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs).

Under the plans the shops on the ground floor and the first floor flats at numbers 251 and 253 would have been transformed into two six-bed properties.

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Fate of two new HMOs in Portsmouth facing 139 objections to be decided

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139 people filed objections against two empty properties in Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth, being turned into houses of multiple occupancy. Picture: Sarah Standing (191020-6034)

But councillors ultimately rejected plans for number 251 amid concerns for parking in the area, but approved those for 253.

Speaking at the virtual planning meeting, Councillor Lee Hunt, said: 'I'd like to propose that the changes to the front elevation at 251 adversely impact the street scene and that it doesn't meet the parking standards as described by officers.

'It will add to the already overcrowded on-street parking and is out of character with this residential area.

'The demand for on-street parking here is huge.'

As reported, the applications sparked a petition that was signed by 139 people living in the surrounding area citing concerns over parking and impact on the surrounding area.

Cllr Judith Smyth, spoke in favour of the proposals for 253. She said: 'I can't see a better use of a piece of semi-derelict real estate in a prominent corner position, which is begging for some use and a decent amount of building work done.'

But Cllr Lee Hunt disapproved of the building's new design. He said: 'I could not disagree more.

'It would be an affront to the people who live in the surrounding street. It would be completely wrong.'

Four councillors voted in favour of plans for number 253, while two voted against and four abstained.

A total of five councillors voted to refuse 251, with four against that and one abstaining.

As part of the approval for 253 council officers have been delegated authority to ensure its windows are 'appropriate' for the street scene.

According to the city council’s online HMO database there are three shared homes in Twyford Avenue, and two around the corner in Gruneisen Road.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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