A bid to gain planning approval for a new HMO in Cotham Vale has been rejected by the city council, to the relief of the many residents who objected.
The property has been operating illegally as a House in Multiple Occupation since last summer, resulting in a council enforcement investigation which in turn led to the application for retrospective planning approval.
Planning officials recommended rejection, saying in a report: "Given the level of HMOs within the local area and the number of existing HMOs [on] the south side of Cotham Vale it is considered that the retrospective application would result in a harmful concentration of the HMOs within the area. Allowing another HMO in this location would reduce the choice of homes in [the] area by further reducing the housing mix and would leave one non-HMO stranded within a run of six."
The report said 38 objections had been received from members of the public. It quoted excerpts from submissions by Redland & Cotham Amenities Society, Highbury Residents Association and local councillor Anthony Negus.
Among the concerns raised were:
Overconcentration of HMOs within Cotham Vale,
Impacts on quality of life through noise, litter and congestion as a result of the HMO,
The property's lack of an HMO licence,
Impacts on the property mix of the area—HMOs vs family homes,
A detrimental impact on the community given the seasonal nature of HMO inhabitants, and
Fear that the application would set a precedent for other retrospective HMO applications.
Because the application failed, the matter will now be referred back to the planning enforcement team.
The decision document can be read on the council's website here.