Residents triumph in battle against Hartlepool HMO plans

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Plans for a new eight-person house in multiple occupation (HMO) – which faced more than 50 objections from residents and councillors – have been withdrawn.

Proposals were submitted last year to Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning department to convert 17 Hutton Avenue into an eight-bedroom HMO.

Submitted by Teesside Property Investments, the plans noted the residential property was vacant and that the work would involve “a few minimal material alterations to the building”.

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More than 50 objections had been submitted from nearby residents to the proposals raising concerns that, if approved, it could lead to an increase in “noise, disturbance, antisocial behaviour and traffic issues”.

The property in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, which was earmarked for a HMO. Picture by FRANK REIDThe property in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, which was earmarked for a HMO. Picture by FRANK REID
The property in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool, which was earmarked for a HMO. Picture by FRANK REID

Objections were also lodged by Burn Valley councillors Jonathan Brash and Ged Hall, who represent the area.

A decision notice on the council’s website, addressed to application planning agent ASP Associates, confirms the proposals have now been withdrawn.

Cllr Brash said: “Residents were squarely against this proposal and I’m delighted that this application has been withdrawn.”

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The Labour councillor had previously raised concerns the proposals would have had a “severely detrimental impact on the quality of life” for many in the area

Councillor Jonathan Brash.Councillor Jonathan Brash.
Councillor Jonathan Brash.

A heritage statement, on behalf of the applicant, had previously outlined how historically the property has solely been used for residential purposes.

It added: “Each proposed room will include en-suite facilities but will rely on shared dining, lounge and utility facilities on the ground floor for all occupants’ use.

“The proposals should not have any effect whatsoever on the architectural character of this period dwelling.”

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A response from the council’s environmental health manager for housing noted the property has been used as a HMO for “at least 15 years”.

The current owner was issued with his first licence in January 2008 and this licence permitted the use of the property for occupation by 10 persons.

However a reduction in occupancy to four tenants meant it was no longer licensable from 2018.

They added there had been “no complaints made to the housing standards team” over the use of the site as a HMO.

However council heritage officers did note the latest proposal would have caused “less than significant harm to the Grange Conservation Area” due to the introduction of a number of rooflights.