Agenda item

26 Heathville Road - 23/00520/FUL

Application for determination:



Proposed internal alterations and change of use from C3 to Sui Generis.


The Planning Officer presented the report detailing an application for proposed internal alterations and a change of use from C3 to Sui Generis.


A local resident addressed the Committee in opposition to the application.


He stated that the application should be rejected on the following grounds:


  • The area already had a large number of HMOs and other non-family homes, such as specialist supported living and care properties.
  • There were numerous student properties in the local area. While many did not meet the large HMO classification, which took the number slightly over 10%, it still impacted the local community.
  • While it was a positive step that Gloucester would house more students, too many student properties, large HMOs, and specialist supported housing were being placed in one area.
  • Out of 33 buildings on Heathville Road, only 13 were family dwellings. This represented over-intensification. The granting of the application would further add to this issue.
  • Gloucester would be unable to compete with Stroud and Cheltenham without more family dwellings.


Members’ Questions


The Planning Officer responded to members’ questions concerning clarification over the percentage of HMOs there would be should the application receive consent, how many double bedrooms there would be, who would be responsible for caring for the garden space, whether the instillation of a kitchen fell under planning law, and if it was conditioned, whether the conservation officer and other statutory consultees raised an objection, how many car parking spaces were proposed and what would the consequences be if the bin storage was not used a follows:


  • There would be two double bedrooms.
  • The residents of the dwelling would be expected to care for the back garden.
  • The application outlined in the late material for 82 Henry Road received consent after an appeal. It was originally rejected by the Planning Committee as it represented 10.2% of large HMOs within a 100-meter radius. The application currently before the Committee would represent 10.4% in a 100-meter radius. The planning inspector had considered the 0.2% increase to not be substantial enough to uphold the reasons for appeal by the Planning Committee for the application at 82 Henry Road. Her assessment was that an increase of 0.4% over the 10% threshold within a 100-meter radius could also not be considered substantial enough to recommend refusal.
  • The Conservation Officer had originally made an objection. She now raised no objections, subject to the conditions outlined in the report.
  • The Civic Trust and Gloucestershire Highways had no objections.
  • The proposed permission was for an HMO. Care Homes fell under the C2 category; therefore, even if the application received consent, if the applicant then wished to operate it as a care home, they would need to submit a new planning application. The application before the Committee was based on the principle of building a large HMO.
  • Regarding bin storage, the Planning Officer could not force residents to use it correctly. However, if they did not, local residents could lodge a complaint with Environmental Health.
  • The assessment regarding the number of HMOs within the 100-meter radius was robust, and she was content with her figures and assessment.


Members’ Debate


The Vice Chair noted that the speaker opposing the application had presented some interesting facts regarding the number of HMOs that did not contribute to the 10.2% figure within the local area, owing to their slightly smaller size. However, he stated that while he sympathised with this point and others raised by local residents, he saw no reason to refuse permission on planning grounds and indicated that he would vote in line with the officer's recommendation.


Councillor Tracey stated that she believed the area was oversaturated with non-family properties. She also raised concerns about parking in the area.


Councillor Conder stated that there was not enough discussion about the lack of four-bedroom family dwellings and mentioned that some people had been waiting for up to 10 years for such accommodations. Councillor Conder noted that she believed the property in question could be converted into a ground floor apartment and an upper two-floor maisonette, which would provide two family homes. She expressed her welcome for the renovation of the building that would occur should the application receive consent. However, she added that if the property were occupied solely by individual residents, they would likely not stay for very long. Furthermore, she raised concerns about the size of the rooms, stating that they would not provide adequate amenity space. She noted that Heathville Road was a family street and that local residents wished to maintain its character, and granting the application would contradict this.


Councillor A. Chambers disagreed with Councillor Conder’s assessment regarding amenity space. He believed there was adequate community space. He mentioned that although there was a long waiting list for housing, the demand for social housing was greater than for family dwellings. He argued that due to the size of the dwelling, social housing providers would likely not take it on. He expressed his view that the property would not be suitable as a family dwelling for four persons, as there would be three empty bedrooms, making it highly unlikely for a family of four to move in. He noted that all statutory consultees now had no objections to the application. He stated that granting the application would only slightly exceed the 10% threshold for HMOs within a 100-meter radius, and it would help more people get onto the property ladder, thereby helping to address the large waiting list for housing.


Councillor Gravells stated that he had concerns after hearing the representation made by a local resident in opposition to the application. He raised concerns that the area might be oversaturated with properties similar to the HMOs that were not included in the 10.4% figure. He stated that he would abstain from the vote and believed that it may be sensible to defer the application to conduct another investigation into the number of intensified properties within a 100-meter radius.


The Chair highlighted the fact that the policy regarding HMOs in the area, specifically related to larger ones and this was clear in the adopted city plan. He said that he saw no planning reason not to grant permission.


The Chair moved and the Vice-Chair seconded the officer’s recommendation to grant the application, subject to conditions outlined in the Committee report.


RESOLVED that planning permission is granted subject to the conditions outlined in the report.



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