Derbyshire home bedsit plan compared to ‘prison yard’ which would be 'death knell' for the area

Plans to convert a Derbyshire home into 11 bedsits have been compared to a ‘prison yard with 11 cells’.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 8:31 am

Alan Colley applied for permission to convert 2 Springfield Gardens in Ilkeston into a total of 11 bedsits, with six in the house itself and five in a planned building to the rear.

At a meeting this week, Erewash Borough Council’s planning committee refused the plans due to the impact it was felt the scheme would have on the neighbourhood.

It was also felt to have insufficient space for the intended number of residents, classing it as an “over-intensive” use of the site.

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Springfield Gardens

The applicant said the proposed house in multiple occupation (HMO) would be for young professionals and blue collar workers on low salaries – not students.

He said very few of the proposed tenants, if any, would have their own vehicles.

Mr Colley said: “The problem is that most residents’ idea of HMOs stretches back to the 1980s of unregulated, run-down houses, but that is not the case anymore with regulated HMOs.

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“Most of my HMO tenants do not own cars due to their low incomes and local employment.”

He said all of the rooms contained enough space for tenants and that there would be adequate dining and bathroom facilities.

Several residents near the property had statements read out at the meeting.

A Mr Scholes said he strongly objected to the plans and said parking on the street was already “very crowded”.

He claimed that since the property was sold to its new owner it has been an “absolute nightmare” and was “already leaving an absolute mess” with numerous vans parked around the property and shouting “all day”.

Marie Johnson, who also lives near the property, said: “Since the house was sold there have been multiple tenants and vans parked on the road.

“The houses on this road do not have driveways and are already overcrowded with vehicles and cannot take any more.”

Finola Brady, agent for the applicant, said: “The landlord is experienced and can deal with any tenancy anti-social behaviour issues through tenancy agreements.”

She said sound insulation would be installed in the walls between the property and the neighbouring property.

Ms Brady said the proposal would retain the privacy of surrounding homes and not overshadow them – and would be a total refurbishment of the building.

Cllr Paul Shelton said: “With all the will in the world and to put everyone who lives in a HMO in the same basket, this will be a slippery slope for this area.

“People who use HMOs, they don’t do so out of choice, they do so because they don’t have any other options.

“As for young professionals. In London maybe, but in Ilkeston, you aren’t going to get many young professional people choosing to live there.

“This would be putting a death knell in this area, we are putting the area down a slippery slope with people who are not family oriented.

“We are condemning the people of this area to a slippery slope. We should not encourage this and we should send a message that we do not accept these (HMOs).”

Cllr Terry Holbrook said: “This looks more like a prison yard with 11 cells. It is an inappropriate development in the area.”