Go-ahead for HiMO in Northampton for 12 people despite earlier refusal for plans for 13 people

Developer says plans have been changed as council gives go-ahead despite objections and 17 letters of complaint

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 10:48 am

A bid to convert a home into a house in multiple occupation for 12 people in Northampton has been approved just weeks after a similar plan for 13 people was refused.

The application was for a house in Langham Place. In September, a similar plan for a HiMO was refused after complaints from local councillors and nearby residents.

The developers, who appealed the original refusal, put in a further application for a reduced number of residents and changes to the internal layout.

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Some of the plans drawn up by Architectural Solutions

In the week before Christmas, the application was approved under delegated powers by West Northamptonshire Council.

According to the planning officer's report, the application was approved as: "The proposed development is considered acceptable in principle as it would not result in an overconcentration 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."

Concerns had been raised about parking in the area but the planning officer's report said: "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."

Objections received for this application stated that it was not fundamentally different to the previous application that was refused and that the 'transient occupation would be unlikely to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area.'

Councillor Winston Strachan, who represents the St George Ward, objected to the plan.

He said the property was located in a conservation area, was located on a main dual road with no parking facilities and will increase fly-tipping in the area.

Councillor Jane Birch, representing the Trinity ward, also objected, saying the original reasons for refusal still apply.

Other concerns raised by Councillor Birch included parking, the impact on the Conservation Area, the size of the kitchens not attracting long-term tenants, rubbish issues and the impact on the local community.

Seventeen letters of objection were received.

The planning report stated that the new application was for fewer occupants and a revised layout, including en-suite or private bathrooms for every room.