To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for the change of use of a dwelling into a 4 bedroom house of multiple occupancy (Class Use C4)
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the change of use of a dwelling house (C3 use class) to a 4 bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (C4 use class) at 20 Conference Road, Armley, Leeds, LS12 3DX.
Members visited the site prior to the meeting and photographs and plans of the property were shown and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· There were no planned external or internal changes to the property. Internal layout plans were displayed.
· Objections had been received from local residents and Ward Members due to the impact of HMOs in the area.
· Armley did have a high concentration of HMOs but this location was considered to be less concentrated with 4 registered HMOs on Conference Road.
· The application was recognised for approval. Internally the property met all specifications and it was anticipated that use as a HMO would only have the same impact as that of a family dwelling.
· It was proposed that there would be conditions in respect of waste collection and cycle storage.
Local residents addressed the Panel with concerns and objections to the application. These included the following:
· Although there were only 4 registered HMOs on Conference Road, another 5 properties had been converted to bedsits. This application would take the number of HMOs/bedsits on Conference Road to be a total of 25% of properties and would further affect the balance of the local community.
· The area which had a higher concentration of HMOs in Armley was only 500 metres away.
· Conversion to a HMO would cause further problems with parking in the area.
· Noise disturbance from existing HMOs.
· Concern that there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour and crime in the area following the conversion of such properties.
The applicant addressed the Panel. The following issues were highlighted:
· The applicant was a member of the Residential Landlords Association and managed six other HMOs.
· This application would provide affordable housing.
· Issues of parking were recognised but the tenants in these kinds of properties tended not to have vehicles.
· The applicant had not had complaints from other properties with regard to noise. The applicant had a strict vetting process and did not rent rooms to students.
· It was felt that the number of waste bins at the property would be in line with that of a family dwelling.
· All tenants would have individual tenancy agreements.
· Partners of tenants would be limited to staying three nights per week. Permission was required for extended stays.
In response to comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· There was only limited on street parking on Conference Road. Occupants of HMOs were less likely to be vehicle owners.
· Concern regarding the number of HMOs and converted bedsit properties on Conference Road,
· Concern regarding crime levels in the area.
· Concern regarding the loss of community cohesion where there was a concentration of HMOs.
· A proposal was made to refuse the application following concerns that had been raised by the Panel.
RESOLVED – That the officer recommendation to grant the application be refused and refusal of the application be delegated to officers for reasons relating to (in summary):
The proposals will result in a concentration of HMOs within the street and adjacent streets causing harm to the character of the area; the loss of community cohesion; the loss of a family house; and an increase in the demand for on street parking contrary to Policy H6 of the Core Strategy, Policy GP5 of the UDP and paragraph 17 of the NPPF.