Multiple occupation secured with costs award

Retrospective permission was given for the use of a dwelling in Lancashire as a house in multiple occupation with a full award of costs in favour of the appellant.

The council had issued an article 4 direction preventing the change of use of residential properties to houses in multiple occupation (HMO). A local plan policy stated that the number of HMOs in any street should not exceed 5 per cent and an inspector noted that currently no other establishments in HMO use were present along the road. The property would be occupied by between five and six students attending a university two miles distant and in his opinion this was an easy cycling distance for young people. It was also on a regular bus route to the campus.

The impact on road users of cars reversing out of the site onto the road and the conflict with pedestrians including children using a nearby park had been exaggerated in importance and the council had failed to produce evidence as to why this justified refusing permission. Consequently, it had resulted in an unnecessary appeal and the appellant was entitled to his costs.

Inspector John Mattocks; Written representations

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