Offer to convert family home in Brighton into shared home


A DEVELOPER wants to expand a single-family home and turn it into a six-bedroom shared apartment – and council officials have given their support for the plans.

But neighbors have objected to a planning application to convert 55 Auckland Drive, Brighton, into a multi-occupancy (HMO) house and it will fall to councilors to decide the matter.

Submitted by developer Rivers Birtwell, the plans include a one-story rear extension and a front bike and garbage store.

Auckland Drive is in the Moulsecoomb and Bevendean area, where there are restrictions on new flat shares due to high numbers in the area.

A report presented by Rivers Birtwell – led by George Birtwell, 42, and 43-year-old Oliver Dorman – says two of the 24 homes within 50 meters of the property are currently registered HMOs.

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Brighton and Hove City Council policy, governed by an ‘Article 4 Directive’, is that no more than 10 per cent of houses within a 50 meter radius can be co-occupied by a proposed HMO. And in this area it is 8 percent.

Rivers Birtwell’s report, prepared by Lewis and Co Planning, the company’s agent, states: “Article 4 was introduced to provide a mechanism to control the concentration of residential communities in certain neighborhoods.

“The aim of the directive is to control, not prevent, the conversion of houses into HMOs.

“Shared apartments play a valuable role in the local housing supply by providing affordable and accessible housing for significant demographics, including students, hospitality workers and young professionals.”

The neighbors have sent seven letters of objection to the motion, which is due to be decided by the council’s planning committee next Wednesday (10 August).

One person who objected to the plans, details of which have been redacted by the council, said: “As residents we have seen an increasing number of family homes being converted into HMOs in the Coombe Road, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean areas.

“The university and other private companies have built literally thousands of student rooms in new buildings across the area, the council’s approval was granted because it would ease the pressure of the housing stock here for students and allow families to move back in.

“These areas thrived until the buy-to-let market emerged in the late 1990s. As residents, we strive to be heard and create a good community up here. Please let family houses stay as family houses.”

The Planning Committee is expected to meet on Wednesday 10 August at 2pm in Hove Town Hall. The meeting will be webcast on the Council’s website. Offer to convert family home in Brighton into shared home

Fry Electronics Team

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