A NEW planning policy aiming to reduce the number of houses in multiple occupancy has seen applications thwarted.
But while some are being rejected by Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee, others have been agreed, much to the anger of residents.
At a recent planning meeting, of the 11 applications for homes in multiple occupation (HMO) eight were approved and three were refused.
The council’s new policy calls for a balance in streets so that only 10 per cent of households within a 50m radius can be HMOs.
But people living in the streets, who gave deputations at the meeting, disputed the council’s data, saying there were more HMOs than stated on the official records.
One application at the meeting was for a HMO in Ranelagh Road, in Stamshaw. A petition signed by 63 residents in opposition to the HMO was presented to the council.
Giving a deputation, resident Sheila Branscombe said: ‘It is our heartfelt belief that HMOs do not contribute to the community as they seem to have no financial responsibilty or investment.
‘HMOs will change the character of the road and attract undesirable short-term tenants.’
But the council officer said there was only one HMO currently in Ranelagh Road so, with the second granted the percentage of HMO households would 2.33 per cent.
It was approved.
Another application approved was for a HMO on Gladys Avenue. The council said if the application was approved there would be two HMOs or 3.1 per cent of households. But 23 objections disputed this, claiming there were more than just one.
During the meeting, other applications were rejected including ones for Montgomerie Road, St Augustine Road and Playfair Road.
All three would have seen the percentage of HMOs increase to more than 10 per cent.
But the applicant for Playfair Road, Mr Pandya was unhappy with the decision as his application was deferred from October’s planning meeting, before the council’s new policy on HMOs came in.
He argued, during his deputation, that had it been voted on in October it would have been approved.
But councillors voted unanimously to refuse as the change in use would have seen the number of HMOs at 23.3 per cent.