Fenland Council act to stop HMO in Wisbech that town council supported subject to only parking concerns

Prince Street, Wisbech (PHOTO: Google)

Prince Street, Wisbech (PHOTO: Google) - Credit: Archant

Fenland Council has moved to stop a second property from being converted into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) despite the proposal winning partial support from Wisbech Town Council.

Thomas Munt wanted to turn the £200,000 large detached house in Prince Street into an eight bedroom HMO for 10 residents but Fenland planners refused the application.

Council officers believe the principle issue remains the affect such intensive living quarters might have on the rest of the street.

Neighbours protested when the plans were first revealed and one said she was concerned both about access to her own home and to parking.

“This is a very narrow road with parking on both sides,” she said. “How an ambulance or fire engine would gain access in an emergency I don’t know.

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“It will be like living across the road to a block of low rise flats.”

She added: “I am very unhappy about this. I only moved here in November and it is a quiet neighbourhood so far- please don’t let it be spoilt by property development.”

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Wisbech Town Council planning committee considered the application and agreed “that the application be supported”.

However they “shared the concern of the local highway authority” that it may result in additional on street parking which could impact on the residential amenity of the area. A report by the county highways concluded that if all occupants of the HMO were to own a vehicle then it would result in an additional demand for kerbside parking.

They urged Fenland Council to “be mindful” of the harm to residential amenity if they allowed the proposal to go ahead bearing in mind the parking issues it threw up.

Fenland officers felt that four additional people living in the house “would have a perceptible effect on the living conditions of neighbours.

“Four extra people would increase the potential for unreasonable disturbance to be experienced by neighbours. Use by a group of 10 independent, individuals each with differing interest, routines and friends will render the associated increased general and vehicle comings and goings so much more intrusive

“It would cause a level of noise and disturbance that would detract from the living conditions which residents can reasonably expect to enjoy in this particular area.”

Parking, too, would “have a significantly uncharacteristic and detrimental impact” the officers concluded.

Officers concluded that council policies seek to achieve the right housing mix for an area and on this point the application failed to meet the test.

Last week a Government inspector backed the council’s refusal of another HMO application in Leverington Road.

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