59 Lilac Road, Bassett (14/00667/FUL, APP/D1780/A/14/2227215)

More flexible use of a 5 person house in multiple occupation (HMO) was sought by a subservient extension to it to allow use as 2 x 3 bed flats, one within either Class C3 or C4 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended), the other just within C3.

This accorded with council policy, whereas a further pure C4 flat would have not received officer support.  Pre-application advice was also heeded to adjust the design of the extension.

Notwithstanding Officer support, elected Members refused the application on a spurious reason relating to adverse impact to the character of the area.

The client then instructed me to lodge an Appeal, which was successful.  The Inspector concluded no harm would occur to the character of the area for the following reasoning –

“I consider that the general activity, noise and disturbance resulting from a class C4 use, is likely to be greater that of a class C3 use as comings and goings are less likely to be co-ordinated. The appeal proposal would significantly reduce the class C4 element within the appeal property. The existing class C4 use accommodates five unrelated people living together in a property with five bedrooms. The appeal proposal would accommodate a three-bedroom class C4 unit and a family unit. On this basis, I am not convinced that the general activity, noise and disturbance that would result from the proposed use of the appeal site would materially change from the existing situation.”