Fresh twist in row over controversial plans for new Hartlepool HMO

Plans for an eight person house in multiple occupation (HMO) are recommended for approval despite almost 40 objections.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:45 am
96 Elwick Road, Hartlepool, could become a house in multiple occupation.
96 Elwick Road, Hartlepool, could become a house in multiple occupation.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee will next week discuss plans to convert 96 Elwick Road into an eight bedroom HMO.

HMOs refer to properties such as a house split into separate bedsits, a shared house/flat or a hostel.

The plans from Ian McGregor-Paterson state the three-storey house is currently vacant and would be brought back into use to help “diversify the housing offer” in the area.

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Burn Valley ward councillor Ged Hall has opposed the planned change of use.

In total 38 objections have been submitted, including two from ward councillors, raising concerns the development could lead to an increase in noise, disturbance, traffic worries and antisocial behaviour.

However a report from senior council planning officer Jane Tindall ahead of Wednesday’s meeting is recommending the proposals are approved by councillors.

She said: “It is considered that the principle of the proposed change of use to a large HMO is acceptable.

“It is considered that the proposal would not give rise to adverse impacts upon the visual amenity, neighbour amenity, highway safety, community safety or any other planning matter.”

Objections have been received from Councillors Ged Hall and Jonathan Brash to the plans, who both represent the Burn Valley ward where it is located.

Cllr Brash said: “Such properties are, sadly, a magnet for antisocial behaviour and have many associated problems, particularly if they are poorly managed.

“This area already suffers significant parking and other associated traffic problems and an HMO will significantly exacerbate these.”

Cllr Hall raised similar concerns, including how Elwick Road is already busy with traffic and a HMO is “not suitable” for the property.

However a design and access statement on behalf of the applicant states the proposal will “make a significant contribution to meeting the housing needs of the borough”

It said: “The provision of new HMO development in this location will provide an important contribution to the local housing market, ensuring an adequate supply of housing which is affordable to local residents providing an alternate low-cost housing offer.”

All eight of the proposed bedrooms would have their own accompanying bathroom, six of which will be en-suite, and two using bathrooms on the first floor.

Proposals include a dropped kerb to provide two new car parking spaces to the front of the property.