Providing more than one hundred and twenty homes, mostly two-bedroom units in four to five storeys with balcony access, Rosewell Court makes an important contribution to the limited supply of affordable social housing in the city centre. At number 75 the applicant seeks to provide three-bedroom accommodation with a single bathroom and no shared space of the type favoured by short lease renters, holiday renters and students, in our view an entirely inappropriate offer in this location. If it set a precedent at Rosewell Court it would be likely to result in:
Loss of affordable single-family housing in a development that lacks any external shared facilities other than a public car park
Increased noise and disturbance
Increased drug dealing and use, petty crime and anti-social behaviour in a location with a history of serious social problems
Increased fire risk
Increased pressure on local and emergency services
It was in order to avoid circumstances of this kind that, under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Local Planning Authorities were granted powers to require those seeking to transfer a property from C3 (dwelling house or flat) to C4 ( House in Multiple Occupation) which would previously have been designated as Permitted Development, to apply for planning consent, a requirement with which presumably the current applicant is now seeking to comply.
Under Policy H2 of its Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, the council confirms that the entire District is subject to Article 4 Directions and that as a result changes of use to HMO will not be supported if, among other factors
The HMO use is incompatible with the character and amenity of established adjacent uses
The HMO use significantly harms the amenity of adjoining residents through a loss of privacy, visual and noise intrusion
The HMO use results in the unacceptable loss of accommodation in a locality, in terms of mix, size and type
It is, therefore, both surprising and disappointing that, as principal landlords at Rosewell Court, neither Curo nor the Council has, so far as we are aware, elected to oppose the application. It is therefore for TARA, in an attempt to defend the interests of existing residents at Rosewell Court, to oppose the granting of planning consent in this case.
We therefore ask for this application be REFUSED.