Back to the drawing board for property developer who wanted to turn former bank into house of multiple occupation (HMO)

PUBLISHED: 12:01 10 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:01 10 March 2020

Former Lloyds Bank, Chatteris, that was offered for sale for £100,000. Nick Leeding wanted to turn it into a seven-room HMO but Fenland Council rejected his proposals. Picture; REALLA

Former Lloyds Bank, Chatteris, that was offered for sale for £100,000. Nick Leeding wanted to turn it into a seven-room HMO but Fenland Council rejected his proposals. Picture; REALLA

Archant

Property developer Nick Leeding is returning to the drawing board after his plan to convert a former Chatteris bank into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) was rejected by Fenland planners.

Planning officer Kathryn Brand recommended Mr Leeding of Wimblington withdraw his application - which he did - to consider other options.

She told him she was 'unable to support' his change of use proposals for the former Lloyds Bank on Market Hill which would have seen it turned into an HMO with seven people living there.

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Ms Brand said the loss of a commercial use at ground floor level within the town centre was not acceptable without any evidence to justify it.

She was also concerned 'loss of an active frontage' which would be detrimental within a conservation area.

'The proposal to have ground floor frosted windows serving bedrooms will result in a poor outlook and environment for future occupiers,' she said. It would result in an 'unacceptable level of residential amenity'.

Options for the building were available, she told Mr Leeding, with retention of the commercial use at ground floor level and flats above the most likely to win support.

'Seven flats, seven tenants, seven vehicles - where will they park?' one neighbour asked the council.

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