Hotel conversion harms social balance and health

The conversion of a hotel to two flats in a coastal town in Lancashire would unacceptably alter the balance of housing in the area contrary to the council's aims of improving the health and social and cultural wellbeing of residents, an inspector has decided.

A three-bedroom flat and a separate one-bedroom ground floor unit would be provided. The council explained that the premises lay in a very deprived area within which it was seeking to encourage more family housing thereby increasing community cohesion and diversity. An over-concentration of flatted development prevented the creation of balanced and healthy communities, it asserted

The council did not specify within its policies the proportion of flats which would be acceptable within the area, the inspector noted. Nonetheless, the building was capable of being converted into a five-bedroom family house which would make a contribution towards redressing the high concentration of flats in the area. If the appeal were allowed it would run counter to the council’s well established policies which sought to improve the wellbeing and quality of life for those residing in the town. Despite its ability to deliver more units within a sustainable location it would not improve the choice of family homes nor deliver a mixed community, contrary to the council’s adopted policies.

Inspector: Susan Ashworth; Written representations


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