Residents thwart bid for HMO in Havant street

  • Applicant argues tenants would be professionals
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NEIGHBOURS are claiming victory for people power after thwarting plans for a controversial development.

Residents in Wendover Road, Chidham Park, Havant, were shocked when proposals were submitted to turn a three-bedroom house into a seven-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The only changes to the house would have been a single-storey extension at the back and some minor alterations.

Many people were concerned the development was cramming people into a small space and would set a precedent for the area.

Residents mounted a petition of 50 names and submitted it to Havant Borough Council.

Local councillor Ken Smith got behind the campaign.

Planning officers were set to refuse the application until the developer withdrew the proposals at the eleventh hour.

Cllr Smith said: ‘It was a ridiculous situation of trying to get seven bedrooms in a mid-terraced house. It would have a shared, window-less lounge, kitchen and bathroom.

‘The developer said it would be for professionals who commute to London but I don’t believe that would be the case. Would a professional want to live in that sort of property? I think they acted brilliantly in getting the petition together.’

The petition, submitted by resident Linda Bumford, stated: ‘This property is being designed to accommodate seven people. In such properties there is potential for noise 24 hours a day as each resident, unlike a family, will be pursuing different activities at all times.’

A subsequent application for the same property – for an extension but with no mention of the HMO – was also withdrawn.

Defending the original application, the applicant, Thai Bridgen, stated: ‘Our target market is white collar, top-end professional tenants.

‘We will not be letting to students. The potential tenants may be contractors at large local businesses.’

The application said there was a local need for HMOs.