Monthly Archives: January 2019

Is this fair?






See if you think the following represents consistent decision-making:

The conversion of a mid-terrace house in a student area of Cardiff to a house in multiple occupation for six persons was dismissed at appeal because it was likely to have a materially adverse effect on the character and amenity of the area (DCS Number 400-020-602). The inspector in this case noted that supplementary planning guidance prepared by the council recognised that concentrations of HMOs clustered in small geographical areas can cause problems. Consequently, it set thresholds above which it deemed that the concentration of HMOs would have an adverse impact on the community. In the appeal area the SPG identified an upper threshold of 20 per cent of HMOs within a 50 metre radius of the application site. Beyond that threshold the SPG indicated that HMOs should be resisted. The council’s evidence showed there were 30 properties registered as HMOs within 50m of the site which equated to 79 per cent. The inspector judged that a high proportion of young people, most of whom would be absent in the summer, was likely to affect the provision of community services and add to the imbalance of the housing mix in the area. He found that the cumulative impact of HMOs had resulted in negative perceptions of the area among longer term residents as well as those who might wish to move into the area.

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On the nail






An inspector has declined to issue a certificate of lawfulness for the use of a vacant shop in north London as a nail bar, ruling that it would entail a material change of use requiring planning permission (DCS Number 400-020-587).

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On a road to nowhere






Lest readers conclude that the DCP Blog’s new year resolution to be cheerfully optimistic about the future of town planning in a difficult political context didn’t last five minutes, we ought to make clear that this Blog is about an actual road to nowhere. In a recent appeal case the creation of an access road to a potential housing site in Bedfordshire was granted planning permission despite the council’s objection on the grounds of prematurity (DCS Number 400-020-519).

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