'The character of this street is changing and the community is breaking down" argues councillor speaking against plans for a HMO application in Rugby

Concerns over the impact of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) leads committee to block application for another one in Rugby

Thursday, 19th July 2018, 5:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th July 2018, 5:48 pm
York Street, Rugby. Google Streetview

The growing number of houses in HMOs in parts of Rugby has prompted district councillors to take a stand and refuse plans to create another near to the town centre.

HMOs are buildings where the occupants may have a private, locked bedroom, but share other facilities like the kitchen or bathroom.

And one councillor said it was time to look at the number of properties which are now home to small groups of individuals.

Officers at this week’s Planning Committee of Rugby Borough Council had recommended that councillors grant 45 York Street HMO status allowing seven people to live at the two-storey terraced house. They would have shared a kitchen and two bathrooms and the owner had tried to alleviate worries over lack of parking by creating spaces for two cars at the rear of the property.

But there was plenty of opposition against the plan at Wednesday’s meeting with 13 letters against the change of use with one of the neighbours speaking at the committee to explain that those living at 45 York Street had used his bins because there were not enough at the property. Councillors expressed concern about the ability to park two cars and about the changing nature of the area,

Cllr Tina Avis (Labour New Bilton) said it was time to have a discussion about the number of HMO in the area while Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem Eastlands) added: “Clearly there is a problem with HMOs in Rugby which are growing at an alarming rate.”

Cllr Ramesh Srivastava (Labour Newbold and Brownsover) said: “The character of this street is changing and the community is breaking down. A lot of pressure is being put on people to move out which is very sad.

“I know this is not a planning consideration but a human consideration has to play a part.”

In her report, planning officer Karen McCulloch explained that the number of HMOs in an area was not grounds to refuse such an application but councillors voted to refuse the change of use on the grounds that it would have a detrimental effect on neighbours and would impact on their quality of life.