Concerns raised over plan to convert large Northampton property into 13-bed HMO

Disagreement over impact on conservation area, parking, noise, anti-social behaviour and more

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 8:30 am

Concerns about a property in Northampton being converted into a 13-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) have not stopped a planning officer from supporting it.

West Northamptonshire Council's planning committee has been recommended to approve the application for the home on Langham Place, Semilong, at its meeting on Tuesday (September 7).

But the council's conservation officer, Northampton Town Council, Semilong and Trinity Neighbourhood Forum, Councillor Cathrine Russell and many residents are all worried about it for various reasons.

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A developer wants to convert a property on Langham Place, Semilong, Northampton, into a 13-bedroom house in multiple occupation. Photo: Google

The planning officer's report, published yesterday (Tuesday, August 31), states: "The proposed development is considered acceptable in principle as it would not result in an over-concentration of similar uses within the vicinity of the site, would not harm the character and appearance of the conservation area, would provide adequate facilities for future occupants and would not be at risk from flooding.

"Notwithstanding existing parking conditions in the local area, the site is in a sustainable location close to bus stops and amenities and would provide adequate facilities for cycle storage and refuse storage."

LME Properties Limited wants to create four extra rooms at the nine-bed house to make 13, six of which would be en suites.

The council's conservation officer and town council believe the proposal would likely impact on the Barrack Road Conservation Area as it would mean the loss of a potential family home.

"Transient occupation would be unlikely to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the area," they add.

The neighbourhood forum said it is also worried about the impact on the conservation area and listed buildings as well as parking, noise, anti-social behaviour, waste and fire escape concerns.

It is also concerned there will be more than 13 occupants and whether the communal space is inadequate for 13.

Councillor Russell called in the application as she believes it is over-development and will adversely impact on parking and the conservation area and she thinks there is insufficient kitchen facilities.

A total of 18 letters and a petition with 16 signatures were sent to the council objecting to the application with similar concerns to others.

But the planning officer said the proposal is considered to be in line with national policy requirements and would have a neutral impact on the conservation areas as the only visual alterations are two enlarged lightwells.