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Plans to turn Nottinghamshire hotel into HMO refused by council

The refusal of plans to turn an Ashfield hotel into a 14-bed house in multiple occupation (HMO) has been welcomed by a local councillor.

Ashfield District Council’s planning department has turned down the plans for the Central Hotel, in Station Road, Sutton, after several concerns were raised.

Applicant Savage Properties had initially planned to turn the 15-room hotel into a 17-bed HMO before discussions with the authority reduced the number of rooms to 14.

HMOs are former residential or other buildings that have been converted to include multiple bedrooms for non-related occupants, who are often renting.

They often have their own bedrooms but share existing facilities like living areas and kitchens.

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However, when the plans were submitted, numerous concerns were raised about the impact of the proposed conversion.

Objections across two separate consultations were met with fears of noise, disturbance, security and anti-social behaviour.

Other concerns included parking, the loss of the hotel, potential drug use and crime, the reduced value of existing properties and the impact on schools and GPs.

One letter in support commented on a shortage of good-quality rented accommodation in the area and called for support for responsible landlords.

Documents submitted by the applicant confirmed each occupant would have had their own en-suite bathrooms, retained from existing hotel rooms.

A cycle rack would have been installed, while an outbuilding would have been turned into two rooms with en suites and a kitchen area.

The building would have been “maintained to a high standard” with annual inspections, the applicant said, alongside a monthly window cleaner and a fortnightly internal cleaner.

And it confirmed rooms in the building “will only be let to working professionals” if planning consent was granted.

However, the authority’s planning department agreed with the concerns raised and turned the application down.

In a delegated report, published on February 15, the authority said: “The proposed development would have a significant impact on future occupiers.

“No outdoor amenity space is provided for residents and a number of room sizes fall below space standards.

“It is considered that the scale of the use of the premises will significantly increase with the permanent occupation of the units.

“This would result in a large number of people sharing facilities, and accessing the property.

“Associated social gatherings will result in increased comings and goings, noise and disturbance to the detriment of neighbouring residents.”

The refusal has been welcomed by Cllr David Hennigan (Ind), who represents Central Sutton and New Cross.

He said: “I’m pleased this application has been refused outright.

“I always said a shared house in this location is too much for this area.  I accept the need for more housing but this must be in a place with minimal disruption to its environs.

“I want to thank local residents who joined me in objecting. I hope this sends a message that we will fight any application that has a material and detrimental impact on our communities.”

The applicant could not be reached for comment.

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