The appeals related to two separate properties, which were being used as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
There were two main issues in the appeal.
The Appellant argued that the properties were lawful HMOs, on the basis that they had been used as such for three months each. The Inspector dismissed this argument on the grounds that this evidence was contrary to planning contravention notices that the Appellants had previously signed. Furthermore, this evidence was found to be contradicted by site photographs that showed the properties to be in a state of disrepair when it was alleged that they were being rented out to students.
The Appellant also argued that planning permission should be granted in any event. However, the properties were in areas where there were already a number of other HMOs. Accordingly, the Inspector found that allowing the appeals would lead to an over-concentration of HMOs in the area, which would compromise the character of the area.
Accordingly, the Inspector dismissed the appeals and upheld the enforcement notices.
View the appeal decision here.
Winckworth Sherwood in conversation with Kings Chambers
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