Bid to carve up two Norwich buildings into HMOs prompts anger

Earlham Road residents opposed to a house of multiple occupancy on their road.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Road residents opposed to a house of multiple occupancy on their road.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A man's vision to convert two semi-detached buildings into houses of multiple occupation (HMO) has prompted a flurry of complaints from neighbours.

Earlham Road residents opposed to a house of multiple occupancy on their road.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Road residents opposed to a house of multiple occupancy on their road.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Applicant Jianping Liu, of Norwich, is behind the proposals for numbers 145 and 147 Earlham Road, Norwich.

He had initially submitted an application for two 10-bedroom HMOs, but has reduced this to a pair of seven-bedroom HMO blocks.

A string of concerns raised over the initial 20-bedroom plans for the buildings, currently a home and a bed and breakfast, meant the plans did not progress.

The Norwich Society felt the HMOs would be out of character with the surrounding residential neighbourhood, and city council housing officers feared people would resort to cooking in their bedrooms as there was a lack of suitable kitchen space.


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Transport objections were also raised, with just six car parking spaces for a total of 20 bedrooms, and the proposed car park too small for cars to turn in.

Officers described plans as a 'high intensity use of these buildings' and noted the lack of refuse provision increased the risk of fly-tipping.

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However, revised plans have been recommended for approval by officers ahead of Thursday's planning committee meeting at City Hall.

Officers felt their concerns had been allayed, and noted: 'With regard to the proposed use as HMOs; this is not dissimilar in traffic movements to a bed and breakfast or private residence.

'As occupants of HMOs tend to have lower incomes, car ownership is likely to be lower than average.'

But the authority has received 56 letters of objection – and a single letter of support.

Michael O'Driscoll, who lives nearby, said: 'It's not a question of 'not in my back yard', it's about preserving the character of the neighbourhood, keeping our children and elderly residents safe on the street and preventing existing traffic and parking problems from getting worse.'

Proposals will be decided by planning councillors on Thursday.

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