“Cynical” plans to dig out the basement of a student house to create more rooms have angered neighbours.
Landlord Syed Shah’s previous application to excavate a new basement to create a studio flat under the shared house in Hanover Terrace, Brighton, were rejected and then dismissed on appeal.
Mr Shah’s latest plans involve extending the shared house – with an extra bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and TV room in the basement – and they have been recommended for approval by council officers.
The plans also involve enlarging a modest rear extension into the small back garden.
Because the proposals drew objections from ward councillors Elaine Hills and Steph Powell, Mr Shah’s planning application will now to be decided by Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee.
One neighbour, whose name has been redacted on the council website, said: “I cannot imagine a more cynical exploitation of the property at the expense of the quality of life of the local community.”
Another said: “The disruption to neighbouring houses likely to be caused by the building works will be considerable.
“Damage may be caused to the neighbouring buildings (which has happened previously in the street).
“This application is purely for the profit of a landlord who does not live in the area.”
Council planning officer Steven Dover’s report said that many of the objections were outside the remit of the committee and could not be taken into consideration
He said: “The applicant’s motivation behind the development, structural integrity and foundations, quality of building works, the construction process and duration, problems with the existing HMO (house in multiple occupation) and anti-social behaviour are not relevant planning considerations, and therefore have not been considered within this report.
“The development is considered acceptable in terms of its impact on the host property (and) the wider area conservation area and would cause no significant harm to neighbouring amenity or the existing and future occupiers.
“Approval is therefore recommended.”
The council’s Planning Committee is due to decide whether to approve the scheme at a meeting at Hove Town Hall which is scheduled to start at 2pm next Wednesday (9 March) – and which should be webcast on the council’s website.