Agenda item

20190451 - 74 Parrock Street, Gravesend DA12 1HF - report herewith

Decision:

Resolved:

(a)  that application 20190451 be DEFERRED to enable negotiations with the applicant and/or the applicant’s agent to address the Board’s concerns in regard to the small size of the bathrooms and to confirm that they would be fit for purpose, and to provide further information regarding the adequacy of the kitchen/diner and the utility room; and

(b)  that the application be reported back to the Regulatory Board

(Planning) for determination of the application.

           

 

 

Minutes:

The Board considered an application reference 20190451 which proposed the change of use to Sui Generis House from an existing single family dwelling into Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) at 74 Parrock Street, Gravesend DA12 1HF.

 

The Principal Planner (Major Sites) advised that the application site comprised a four storey dwelling which was located on the west side of Parrock Street to the south of its junction with Homemead Close. The area lay within the most northern part of the Windmill Hill Conservation Area. The proposal was for the change of use of an existing single family dwelling into a HMO for 8 people. The conversion would provide 8 bedrooms with dedicated shower facilities for each room and a shared kitchen/diner and utility room. The rear garden would provide space for 2 vehicles to park, a bin store and cycle storage plus amenity space for future occupiers. Alterations that were proposed to the exterior of the building included the front boundary wall, piers and railings being re-instated along with the site frontage with new windows and doors being installed. The rear garden would be resurfaced in accordance with details to be controlled via a planning condition. The application was located on a busy arterial route into the town centre where most properties had already been converted into flats and maisonettes. Given the high levels of flatted development, this was considered to be an appropriate location for conversion in an accessible and sustainable location. The size and internal arrangement of the building would qualify as being appropriate for conversion pursuant to criteria set out in saved policy H5 of the Gravesham local Plan First Review and the emerging Development Management Policy DM29. The applicant had submitted a signed SAMMS Agreement form and payment towards the provision of appropriate mitigation. As such the proposal accords with Core Strategy policy CS12 (Green Infrastructure) which affords internationally important areas such as Ramsar sites and SPA’s the highest protection and addresses the comments raised by Natural England.

The application was before the Board on the request of Cllr Steve Thompson who considered that:

·         The number of HMOs on Parrock Street and surrounding streets was over saturation.

·         There was insufficient on-street parking for current residents.

·         The accumulation of refuse on the stretch of Parrock Street, due in part to the lack of refuse storage space in the HMOs and No 74 appeared to have no such storage space either.

·         There was a lack of space for the storage of bicycles.

Members were advised that in response to the publicity given to the application no representations had been received from members of the public.

The following points were made during discussion on this application:

·         Following a question in relation to the size of the shared kitchen/diner, the officer confirmed it would be 20 sqm and the national space standard was 27 sqm. However, the bedrooms would be slightly over the minimum  size which would compensate to a degree.

·         It was intended that 8 adults would live in the HMO and concern was raised about the lack of parking. The Board was advised that the site was close to the town centre, there was a public car park in close proximity and parking was subject to parking permits.

·         The Board noted that the bathrooms, which comprised a toilet, a sink and a shower cubicle, were very small and a question was raised as to their usability for future occupants.

·         Members were advised that refuse storage would be located in the rear garden which would be accessed by the refuse collection services. This could be controlled by condition and could also include a refuse management plan.

·         The Assistant Head of Legal Services (Place) advised that, in this instance, there were a number of regulatory schemes that had to run alongside each other and it was possible that an HMO licensing decision might contradict a planning decision. If the conversion to an HMO was given planning permission, the applicant would have to apply for a HMO licence and living space would be a consideration of this process as would include details such as fire safety features.

·         In relation to the possible saturation of the area with regard to numbers of HMOs, the Principal Planner (Major Sites) advised that research had shown no. 84 Parrock Street had 14 bedrooms and there were 2 others. However, conversion to HMOs up to a maximum of 6 bedrooms could take place under Permitted Development Rights and would therefore not have come to the attention of the Council. Anything over 5 bedrooms had to be licensed as an HMO.

·         The lack of scale in the layout drawings was commented on and how this made it difficult to consider whether the rooms would be usable by future occupiers.

 

Resolved:

(a)  that application 20190451 be DEFERRED to enable negotiations with the applicant and/or the applicant’s agent to address the Board’s concerns in regard to the small size of the bathrooms and to confirm that they would be fit for purpose, and to provide further information regarding the adequacy of the kitchen/diner and the utility room; and

(b)  that the application be reported back to the Regulatory Board

(Planning) for determination of the application.

 

 

Supporting documents: