Grade 11 listed property in centre of Wisbech to become HMO - despite opposition from town council

9 Market Street, Wisbech

9 Market Street, Wisbech - Credit: Archant

A Grade II listed property in the centre of Wisbech is to become a house in multiple occupation (HMO) despite opposition from the town council.

9 Market Street, Wisbech

9 Market Street, Wisbech - Credit: Archant

No 9 Market Street is within the conservation area and the town council claimed allowing multiple occupancy would be “overdevelopment” of the site.

The town council also argued there was a lack of communal space for tenants and was also concerned about car parking.

But Fenland Council has overruled them and agreed to allow the renovations and conversion to go ahead.

An officer who inspected the property says the works envisaged “is largely cosmetic refurbishment and repair”.

Only one objection was sent to the district council, from a neighbour who claimed HMO use causes “excessive noise and disturbance through residents and their visitors arriving and leaving”.

The letter also said HMO use would lead to “businesses and residents having to consider their futures leaving empty properties that would be difficult to re-let”.

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But Fenland officers said the house had been in poor condition and the range of works now proposed would remedy these defects.

“It is also contended that bringing this empty building back into full use will help to ensure that this important heritage asset has a viable use for many years to come,” says a council assessment.

FDC conservation officers have also held talks with the owners and the council were happy with amendments made.

Officers also concluded that “in HMO cases it may be asserted that residents would have a low level of car ownership”. Indeed on appeal inspectors have concluded that greatly reduced or nil parking for HMOs are acceptable given proximity to public transport and shops.

FDC also relied on the fact that they have no policy that opposes changes of use to HMO’s in conservation areas in Fenland.