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Family home turned into multi-occupation house despite concerns

Retrospective plans to turn a family home into a seven-bed house in multiple occupation in Coventry have been approved, despite a councillor’s claims it is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the planning process.

A bid for a nine-bed HMO was previously refused by officers on the grounds it was intensified use but a second application was passed by a committee on Thursday (June 13) after the size reduced by two rooms.

Councillor Tim Sawdon had criticised how the applicant sought retrospective approval for 30 Old Mill Avenue, and blasted the proposals as gross over-development of the site.

But planning officer Shamim Chowdhury said: “The use is clearly different to a family house and increases the potential of noise, however in this case it is a large property and does not share and walls with other houses.

“Retrospective applications are acceptable and we cannot control that.

“In terms of assessment we do the same as a normal application.”

One of the conditions was for the house to be occupied by no more than seven residents, with planning policy manager Mark Andrews adding the authority will be monitoring the licence.

Concerns were also raised about whether the parking was adequate, with officers stating up to six cars would be catered for, but only with four at a time would they be able to manoeuvre on the drive independently.

Cllr Naeem Akhtar said: “Our local plan requires all HMOs to provide adequate parking, this is not adequate parking.”

Council officers said the local plan indicates the application requires ‘up to six spaces’ and was therefore acceptable.

By Tom Davis

Source: Coventry Telegraph