Agenda item

17/06021/F 21 Lansdown Road


Officers introduced this report and outlined the following key issues in relation to this application:


(1)   They had considered an appeal Inspector’s decision at a similar nearby property at 18 Stanley Road, Cotham in 2013 which, following Development Control Committee’s refusal of the application on the grounds of a cumulative increase and increased density, had allowed the decision on appeal. Officers had considered whether or not the proposed change in numbers of an HMSO merited refusal, rather than the principle of an HMSO which was already established

(2)   The application was proposed for approval subject to conditions, including a Premises Management Plan


Officers responded to Councillors’ questions as follows:


(3)   Each application needed to be considered on its own merits. However, it was likely that an application for a brand new HMO would have been considered differently. In particular, following the adoption of Policy DM2 in July 2015, there is more formal weight to address intensification of use. Councillors needed to consider whether or not the increase from 5 to 7 occupants crucially tipped the balance to make it unacceptable;

(4)   If the application was approved, the requirement to ensure Premises Management Plan (PMP) was adhered to would form a condition. Therefore, any breach of the PMP would result in an enforcement investigation, albeit that due to recent restructuring this operated on a more reactive rather than a proactive basis

(5)   In the event of any appeal, the Inspector would be likely to consider a wider impact than just to the street

(6)   Councillors’ concerns were noted that an increase in occupancy to 7 would likely be for student use. However, there was no difference in terms of the assessment that was made for the application. It could be for other groups, such as professionals

(7)   Officers referred to the appendix of the report and Paragraph 8 setting out the Inspector’s decision in respect of Stanley Road. This stated that “Whilst an increase of one resident over and above 6 represents an increase of some 17%, the nature of the occupation has not changed in that the property is occupied by a group of persons on a single tenancy.” It was the view of officers that any appeal decision by the Inspector in this case, if it was refused would be made on a similar basis

(8)   Costs would only be awarded against either party in the event that either party was deemed to have acted unreasonably and would cover the costs of the party bringing the appeal






Councillors made the following points:


(9)   Whilst each individual HMO application might have little impact, taken together there had been significant change. BCC had failed local residents in respect of the growth of HMO’s in the area

(10)                       The previous appeal at Stanley Road had been made prior to the formal adoption of DM2. It was worthwhile attempting to see if this adopted policy could help in controlling the extent of HMOs use in the area

(11)                       There was already an impact on residents, especially in relation to noise, waste and in particular parking

(12)                       It was reasonable to state that this application would result in intensification since Policy DM2 was only draft at the time of the Stanley Road appeal.

(13)                       Developers could not be allowed to undermine balanced and sustainable communities. A tipping point had been reached in terms of intensification and impact on residents in terms of loss of amenity, noise and disturbance

(14)                       In view of the increase in occupancy from 5 to 7 (a 40% increase) and the information from neighbours that the situation had deteriorated, there was real evidence that there was extra disturbance

(15)                       The Inspector for the Stanley Road appeal had not given policy DM2 significant weight because it was not adopted policy at the time

(16)                       It was disappointing that this was a retrospective application since this undermined the decision-making process

(17)                       There was a serious concern as to whether the Premises Management Plan was genuinely enforceable. This issue would need to be drawn to the inspector’s attention in the event that the Inspector was inclined to allow any appeal


It was moved by Councillor Clive Stevens, seconded by Councillor Olly Mead and, upon being put to the vote, it was


RESOLVED (unanimously) – that the application be refused under Policy DM2 on the basis that it is an intensification of the existing development and will increase the noise and disturbance to residents and cause loss of amenity.





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