Agenda item

Planning Application Number 20/01595/F - 56 Filton Avenue and 2A Filton Grove


Officers introduced this report and made the following comments:


·         This site was currently occupied by two buildings

·         The application was for two applications to construct 3 storey buildings with dual frontage on both

·         Existing approval existed for 6 HMO’s on the site and was for 3 storeys as per the current application

·         The application was for a more modern approach and materials. It was noted that each floor would feature 2 HMO’s

·         There had been 30 comments received across 2 consultations

·         The application had been referred to committee by Councillor Clair Hiscott

·         There was only 5% of housing stock currently registered for HMO’s in the area. If this application was approved, it would increase to 9.63%

·         Information on selective licensing would be required which can capture dwellings subdivided into flats to analyse exactly how many HMOs existed in a particular area. At the moment, officers were heavily reliant on the data in making their recommendation

·         The proposed height of 3 storeys was acceptable from the junction. The impact from over shadowing was similar to the existing site

·         This proposed development would be purpose built and separate from adjoining properties

·         There was unlikely to be a negative impact in terms of possible sandwiching of properties. There would be a separate ground floor and first floor flat

·         There were sufficient parking spaces to meet demand

·         Cycle and refuse arrangements would meet the required standards


In response to members’ questions, officers made the following comments:


·         The survey of HMOs had used methodology from February 2019 and took place between 10pm and 11pm

·         Complaints had to be persistent to be formally categorised in the assessment of this development. Individual complaints would not be assessed

·         Whilst under the previous regimes, HMO licences would not need to be registered. However, following the extension of Article 4, they would need to be registered

·         The number of HMOs was checked against the Bristol City Council register which included Bishopston but not Horfield

·         The data was taken from 27th July 2020 and so did not account for changes from August. It was acknowledged that Development Control A Committee had noted that there had been a 5% increase in HMO’s in August 2020 for Bishopston

·         Officers could build a condition into planning approval requiring that the telephone number of the landlord or his agent is provided for the refuse and recycling store

·         The bedroom was a single space unit

·         Whilst it was acknowledged that all houses in this area were not particularly large and identification of HMO’s was therefore harder, further HMO’s for future applications would be assessed as to whether or not they provided a tipping point

·         Article 4 removed development rights and therefore all future development would require planning permission. A change of use from a dwelling house to a small HMO would normally be a permitted development. However, this had now been removed. Therefore, In Horfield or elsewhere Planning Permission will be required for small or large HMO’s.

·         Whilst there may be a Planning Permission increase in future, this can continue to be controlled through the planning process

·         The role of licensing of HMO’s was an important one. Therefore, the 10% limit should be treated with care and used as a tool for assessing over concentration. The wider evidence of harm was important – for example, existing problems. Whilst the 9.5% limit that was reached may be pushed to be increased, no further HMO’s could be approved without individual planning permission

·         There is a landscaping scheme for the development


Committee Members made the following comments:


·         There were currently a large number of HMO’s in this area. With the requirement that there is a condition to provide a contact number for any complaints, this application should be supported

·         Not all HMO’s in the area were known and there had been a significant change in the area over the last 6.5 years

·         This application might be difficult to defend on appeal and so may have to be supported

·         An application recently submitted to DC A Committee had been turned down on the grounds that it had a harmful concentration of HMO’s. The data was a bit out of date. There was a sandwich at 1 Filton Grove. A lot of Horfield HMO’s don’t need licensing and so the numbers were likely to be higher than indicated by the data. Environmental Health did not allow one off complaints but there was evidence of disturbance from other HMO’s from Councillors and residents. Therefore, the Committee should vote against this proposal

·         Since this is a hall of residence, it was not a bad quality of home. Whilst it was a large development, this was allowed by the plot size. Whilst parking could be difficult, most residents were likely to be students who may not all have cars and who may travel to the University of the West of England but live and socialise in Bristol


Councillor Tom Brook moved, seconded by Councillor Jo Sergeant and upon being put to the vote, it was


RESOLVED (4 For, 4 Against, the Chair exercising his casting vote For) – that the application be approved.


The Chair explained the reasons for his casting vote in favour of the application:


The Design was acceptable and the situation in terms of the number of HMO’s was also acceptable with the data currently available. Although he had concerns over parking, on balance he felt that the proposed development was acceptable.


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