Change of use from former public house (use class A4) to house of multiple occupation providing 2 single rooms and 7 double rooms.
In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman chaired the meeting for this planning application.
The Head of Planning advised the Committee that consideration of this application had been deferred at the meeting of the Committee on 20 January 2016 when it had been decided to defer consideration pending further negotiations.
The application had been resubmitted to the Committee on 10 February 2016 when the application had been deferred again pending further negotiations and for further information to be supplied as to the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the immediate area, the existence and operation of similar supported HMOs and the number of staff that would attend on site on any day.
The Head of Planning advised the Committee that the applicants had now lodged an appeal against non determination of the application within the statutory period and, as a result, the decision on the planning application was now in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate. However, the Committee still needed to take a view on the application and indicate what its decision would have been if it were in a position to determine the planning application.
The Head of Planning reminded the Committee that when reporting the planning application on 10 February, the applicants had, at that time, agreed to reduce occupancy of the HMO from 15 to 9 persons. However, the applicants had now rescinded this offer and were seeking permission for occupancy of up to 15 individuals. He reassured the Committee that if it was minded to indicate approval of the application, it could continue to do so on the basis of occupancy levels being restricted to 9 individuals and therefore proposed condition 5 had been retained to reflect this.
The Head of Planning referred to the supplementary agenda advice sheet which set out the information on HMOs requested by the Committee on 10 February 2016.
The Committee discussed the application and considered it unfortunate that the applicant had decided to appeal against non determination and furthermore rescind its offer of reducing the occupancy number from 15 to 9.
Members discussed the additional information supplied on the number of licensed HMO’s across Medway and considered that this was useful in helping to determine the planning application.
The Committee noted that at the meeting on 10 February, the local Ward Councillor had outlined the concerns of local residents and their wish for the premises to be converted into 2 – 3 self contained units rather than a HMO but that as the applicant had now appealed against non determination, the Committee was required to consider the application placed before it.
If Medway Council had been in a position to determine the application, it would have been approved subject to the following:
A) The applicants signing a Unilateral Undertaking under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to secure £223.58 towards Designated Habitats Mitigation; and
B) Conditions 1 – 5 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.