Seaside guest house hit with enforcement notice after operating as HMO
- Credit: Archant
Tenants living at a guest house operating as an 18-room HMO without permission only had access to two microwaves to prepare food.
Kitchen and communal facilities at Rhonadean in Great Yarmouth were described as 'very inadequate' by a planning inspector who visited the premises earlier this year.
And now the owners have been ordered to cease using the property as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) within the next 12 months.
The guest house owners said they started taking in permanent tenants last year as the business was struggling.
They sought planning permission to convert the guest house into an HMO in 2017, but this was refused by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
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The local authority then served an enforcement notice against the owners in December that year as it was operating as an HMO without proper planning permission.
The owners appealed the notice and refusal, but these have now been dismissed by planning inspector Diane Lewis.
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In her decision, published in February, she said when council officers visited the property cooking facilities comprised of two microwaves.
'I consider that the kitchen and communal facilities are very inadequate to serve an 18 unit HMO,' she said.
'I conclude that the development fails to ensure a good standard of amenity for all the residents in the HMO.'
While the first and ground floors of the property have been converted into an HMO, the basement has been turned into a flat occupied by applicant Barbara Wheeler.
A spokesperson for the owners said there was no existing kitchen facility for the tenants at present, but said they were in the process of creating one.
The spokesperson said they were now planning to re-apply for change-of-use permission.
Explaining why they turned the property into a HMO, the spokesperson said: 'Business has been bad.
'We were not getting the calls to fill the rooms up and so we took on permanent tenants.'
The planning inspector noted in her decision that the enforcement notice would result in the existing residents losing their homes.
As a result the owners have been given 12 months from February this year to cease using the property as an HMO.