Eight-bedroom Littlehampton HMO approved despite parking concerns

Arun district councillors have ‘reluctantly’ approved plans for an eight-bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Littlehampton.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 3:01 pm

During a meeting of the development control committee on Wednesday, a number of concerns were raised about the application for a house in Bayford Road – not least of which were the parking problems.

Work has already started on converting the inside of the locally listed building, though no changes will be made to the outside.

There are already seven HMOs in Bayford Road – though Freddie Tandy, of Littlehampton Town Council, suggested there were more.

SUS-210803-145251001

Mr Tandy also said the area was subject to ‘repeated reports of anti-social behaviour’.

While this claim was not a planning issue, many of the committee did agree with his concerns about parking.

The application only provides two spaces, when four is the recommended number, and the road is often packed with parked cars.

Billy Blanchard-Cooper (Lib Dem, Brookfield) agreed it was ‘a huge problem’.

He also wondered why eight bedrooms were being squeezed in when, if the applicant had reduced it to six, the change of use could have gone ahead under Permitted Development Rights.

Mr Blanchard-Cooper added: “I don’t think this is suitable. I think it is trying to cram too much into that area.”

While others agreed, Martin Lury (Lib Dem, Bersted) summed up the problem faced by the committee, saying they didn’t have a ‘cat in hell’s chance’ of winning an appeal if they refused the application.

And losing an appeal would cost the council money.

With no objection raised by West Sussex County Council’s highways team, the application was approved – though some councillors were heard to say ‘reluctantly’ and ‘unfortunately’ after casting their votes.