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Plans for six-person HMO in Sidcup approved despite residents' concerns

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 October 2018

Developers plan to renovate the house, in Manor Road, into a home for six people, much to the concern of neighbours. Photo: Google Maps

Developers plan to renovate the house, in Manor Road, into a home for six people, much to the concern of neighbours. Photo: Google Maps

Archant

"Devastating" plans for a house of multiple occupancy in Sidcup have been approved despite pleas by residents.

Developers plan to renovate the house, in Manor Road, into a home for six people, much to the concern of neighbours.

A house of multiple occupancy (HMO) is a building featuring at least four bedrooms used by unrelated individuals.

The plans, which had been recommended for approval, were given the go-ahead by councillors at a planning meeting despite neighbours questioning the impact on their quality of life.

There were concerns the proposals would lead to over-development, a loss of privacy and too much noise.

One neighbour said: “It is very difficult for doctors and nurses to park when visiting the elderly at the retirement flats opposite. I appreciate people need somewhere to live but this is completely unsuitable.”

Another neighbour, who has lived in the road for 36 years, said the noise would be devastating for her and her ill husband, as he rests most of the day while recovering from treatments.

Concerns were also raised that the living conditions would be too cramped to support six people.

The council received 18 objection letters to the plans, and ward councillor Gareth Bacon appealed to the committee to block the scheme.

Cllr Bacon said: “The site in question is right in the middle of terraced townhouses, many elderly and vulnerable. It is entirely unsuitable.

“The creation of an HMO would lead to a loss of family housing and massively impact the lives of residents, many of whom are elderly, so I urge you to stand up for local residents.”

However, Labour councillor Nicola Taylor defended having an HMO in the community.

She said: “I appreciate it is a family area, but the role of planning is to ensure suitable accommodation. I have to think about the role of HMOs in the housing market, this means that six people would be housed.

“I do hear the fears but people have the right to live somewhere and who is to say they wouldn’t be good neighbours for you.”

The plans were moved by Cllr Danny Hackett before being approved by the committee.

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