No clear outcome for Portmsouth residents fearful of HMOs on their street

IT WAS a bitter-sweet result for anxious homeowners in North End as councillors gave the green light to extend one shared house, but deferred approval on another.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 6:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 7:09 pm

At yesterday's planning committee decisions on two terraced properties of Wadham Road, numbers 37 and 69, were made.

Having already been granted permission to become a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) in April, it was agreed that the owner of number 37 could add two more bedrooms to the property, taking it from a five to seven-bed house.

Councillors agreed that although it would exacerbate parking issues on the road, an appeal would most likely be rejected by the planning inspectorate and voted in favour of the plan. The committee's chairman, Cllr Hugh Mason, said: 'I certainly understand the problem people have with this application but I can't see any reason to refuse it. With regret I propose the officers' recommendation.'

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Residents fear for HMOs on street

Following this permission for number 69 to be turned from a three-bedroom family home to a five-bed HMO, was deferred due to a lack of information.

Cllr Scott Payter-Harris, whose ward is close the street in question, raised the issue of insufficient materials available to residents concerning number 69.

He revealed that three key documents were missing: a map of HMOs in the area, a list of HMOs within a 50 metre radius and a list of all properties within a 50 metre radius.

Under Portsmouth City Council guidelines the limit of HMOs within a 50 metre radius is 10 per cent. Without this information councillors could not be sure if number 69 would breach this rule.

Speaking outside of the meeting Cllr Payter-Harris said: 'Information surrounding number 69 Wadham Road was inadequate. How were residents expected to comment on the application when there was a lack of this information? I just think it is poor form.

'At the moment there are three HMOs that we know of on that street. It puts the situation on a knife edge.

'I am really pleased the committee listened to my deputation. However, I do want residents to be aware that if the information that comes back shows the property to stay within that 10 per cent limit it is likely to become an HMO.'

Work to extend number 37 can now begin. Councillors will decide on number 69 when the application comes back to a planning committee with all the relevant information.