Coldean Neighbourhood Planning Forum has undertaken consultations with the community and identified the loss of family homes and their conversion to HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) as an issue of concern locally.
It has affected local school places in recent years.
We have carried out local research after we heard claims that mainly business people or tenants other than students were living in the HMOs.
We found this from our research to be untrue. Nearly all the HMOs in Coldean are taken up by students.
We have also noted at the recent council planning meeting that another claim was made that there were more HMOs in Hanover than Coldean which was again untrue.
We were very disappointed that the council approved the application for an HMO in Talbot Crescent despite there being strong local opposition.
Owing to a very large and ongoing building programme by Sussex University and Brighton University, HMOs are unlikely to continue to be in demand, with plentiful good-quality on-campus accommodation increasingly available.
This seems therefore a good point at which to refuse further planning applications for HMOs – not least with many HMOs in Coldean empty and unrented.
The Coldean Neighbourhood Planning Forum would like to ask: “When will the council realise that we have enough student accommodation and HMOs in the city for students and change its planning policies accordingly?”
Patrick Lowe is the chairman of the Coldean Neighbourhood Planning Forum.
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