Another family home in Bevendean will be converted into a student house despite calls from neighbours to stop further studentification of the area.
Residents and councillors pushed for refusal as the area is becoming dominated with shared houses, known as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
The project will mean that the three-bedroom house in Heath Hill Avenue is converted into a six-bedroom shared house with two shower rooms – and another home is lost to family use.
Residents have been warning in recent years that the steady increase in shared houses in the area – several converted by the same developer behind these plans, Rivers Birtwell – could have a serious impact on the character of the neighbourhood.
Penny Hajduk, of Manton Road, Bevendean, said: “The playgroup has shut down as there aren’t enough children. The number of children applying to Bevendean Primary School is dropping which, in the long-term, is not financially sustainable.
“Moulsecoomb Primary find themselves in the same position.
“There are numerous purpose-built student housing units recently built and many more proposed for the Preston Barracks/Lectern site. Surely the residential areas can be spared any further incursion?”
Brighton and Hove City Council has put in place planning restrictions which rule that any applications for HMOs should be turned down if there are already more than 10% in a 50m radius of the development.
Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward councillor and Brighton and Hove City Council leader Daniel Yates asked the council’s planning committee to discuss the application and fellow ward councillor Anne Meadows also objected because of the number of shared houses in the area.
She said: “With 40 per cent HMOs in The Avenue, which this road leads off, it far exceeds the allowance for HMOs in one area so this planning application should be avoided.”
Residents sent nine letters objecting to the application, describing the area as “overrun by students”. However, the planning committee heard that there were no other HMOs within 50 metres and approved permission.
When work is complete, the garage will become a kitchen/living area with the downstairs changed to two bedrooms and a shower room.