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.