Family home in Brighton to become shared house

Councillors have granted planning permission for a family home in Brighton to be turned into a shared house despite having reservations.

Two ward councillors – Steph Powell and David Gibson – wrote to planners with concerns about the “creeping” growth in the number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

The pair, who represent Hanover and Elm Grove, objected to the proposal for the property at 71 Albion Hill, Brighton.

Their concerns were shared at a “virtual” meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee yesterday (Wednesday 5 August).

An official read out their letter which said that a “creep” of unlicensed HMOs was having a “detrimental impact” on the area by “unbalancing” the local community.

The council’s policy is that plans for a shared house will be approved provided that no more than 10 per cent of homes within 50 metres are already HMOs.

Independent councillor Bridget Fishleigh asked how the number of shared houses in an area was calculated and was told that planners checked existing permissions, licences and council tax records.

She asked if officers used the electoral roll and was told that they did not.

Councillor Fishleigh said: “If I represented this area then I would go knocking on everyone’s door to find out who was an HMO so I would have evidence.”

Green councillor Sue Shanks said: “I’ve knocked on a lot of doors over the years. A lot of people might live in a place but it’s not necessarily an HMO if a lot of people might be on the electoral roll.

“I agree with the councillors. It is a creeping thing. Whenever we come back to residents, they always say there are more HMOs than the council says there are.”

Labour councillor Nick Childs was the only councillor to vote against the plans, with Councillor Fishleigh abstaining.

He said: “I do know the area very well and I think there’ll be an impact by turning it into an HMO.

“There’ll be an impact on parking and on rubbish, which is already a serious issue in the area.

“I also think it increases the risk of noise pollution as well.”

The plans were submitted by Regency Properties Brighton, owned by Rovertos and Ermylos Savvides, who made their name locally running the Regency fish restaurant on Brighton seafront.

  1. Samuel Reply

    “detrimental impact” on the area by “unbalancing” the local community. Facist. What next – ethnic cleansing?

    • Rolivan Reply

      Samuel,I think that started when house prices rose and young Family members of Brightonians and Hovites could no longer afford to stay in the area.

  2. StopFacismNow Reply

    People need a place to live, get over it. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean you can dictate who lives in your area. That’s just luck of the draw.

    Also I’ve lived as a student in Hanover next to noisy and dirty families who have kept me up at night when I’ve had classes the next morning.

    Brighton is changing and it’s not the students who are dictating these changes. The new student accommodations that were recently built can only be afforded by those who come from rich families and overseas.

    I remember how much of a struggle it was to afford and find housing that would accommodate students. On top of that the lack of care and discrimination you face for being a student is ridiculous. I’ve always got my deposits back because I’m clean. Since I graduated I saw how differently you are treated…I’m still the same person, just with a degree lol.

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