Inspector blocks HMO two storey extension

310 Churchill Road, Wisbech

310 Churchill Road, Wisbech, which a government inspector has decided cannot be extended to become a 14 bed HMO instead of the 9 bed HMO it is at the moment. - Credit: Archant

A controversial bid to increase from 9 to 14 the number of tenants allowed to live in one house has been blocked by a government inspector.  

Dara Singh wanted to extend a five-bedroom house in Churchill Road, Wisbech, already with permission for a house in multiple occupation (HMO). 

Fenland District Council refused her application – a decision upheld by the Planning Inspectorate. 

Paul Martinson, the inspector who assessed the case, concluded that the proposal “would result in harm to the living conditions of the existing occupiers of the HMO through the loss of the garden space” 

He also felt it would “fail to provide adequate living conditions for future for the same reason”.  

He said the council’s policies aims to promote high standards of residential amenity and preserve existing living conditions. 

Mr Martison also dismissed claims by Dara Singh of the need for more HMOs in the areas. 

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"I have not been provided with detailed evidence to support this and therefore I can attribute very little weight to it” he said. 

“I have had regard to the number of different examples of approvals and appeal decisions referred to by the appellant. 

“However, I have not been provided with the precise details of these or the circumstances that led to them being approved. 

“I therefore cannot be sure that they represent a direct parallel with the appeal scheme.” 

He added: “Nonetheless I have assessed the appeal on its own merits.” 

The proposal would have meant 310 Churchill Road, Wisbech, having a single-storey rear extension to cope with the extra numbers. 

Wisbech Town Council objected saying it would be overdevelopment. 

Highway's objections were dealt with in an amended application but some opponents expressed concern with overflowing bins and one objector sent planners photos to back their claims.  

One objector also alleged anti-social behaviour associated with the house and claimed a late-night fence fire was caused by a tenant “flicking a cigarette out of the window. 

“Luckily, our neighbour woke us to inform us or it could be much worse”. 

The objector said: “I am sure you can imagine how frustrating and scary this was when we didn’t cause the damage. 

“To increase the residents to 14 is undoubtedly going to cause more noise.”