Seaside guest house turned HMO hits out at Premier Inn for ‘negative impact’

Kitchen and communal facilities at Rhonadean in Great Yarmouth were described as “very inadequate” b

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. Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

A shared house tagged as “very inadequate” by a planning inspector has applied again to be allowed to operate as an HMO.

Rhonadean, a former guest house in Wellesley Road, Great Yarmouth, had morphed into an 18 unit HMO (house of multiple occupation) without permission.

Fears were raised about it being over-crowded and substandard leading to enforcement action.

Now, the owners are asking to carry on running it as an HMO but with larger rooms and more kitchen, dining, and lounge space for tenants.

Documents submitted in support of the change-of-use application say demand for holiday accommodation has fallen.

They say: "New hotels with on site parking such as Premier Inns are being granted approval and this is having a negative impact on the traditional guest house.

"There is a high demand for low cost accommodation within the borough.

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"The property is clean, tidy, and well-managed as an HMO and has been granted a temporary licence for letting the existing 18 rooms."

Under the planned improvements tenants will have facilities to cook their own meals and make use of new communal lounge and dining spaces.

The number of units will dip to 13.

The statement adds: "The HMO gives decent accommodation to working people on low incomes who could not otherwise afford to buy or rent a property.

"The building should be lived in, it is an asset to the local community.

"The workers who live here contribute to the local economy.

"There is an urgent need to boost the supply of housing and therefore the application should be supported."

The owners sought planning permission to convert the guest house into an HMO in 2017, but this was refused by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

The local authority then served an enforcement notice as it was operating as an HMO without proper planning permission.

The owners appealed the notice and refusal, but these were dismissed by a planning inspector earlier this year.In her decision, published in February, planning inspector Diane Lewis 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."

A spokesperson for the owners said there was no existing kitchen facility for the tenants at the time, but said they were in the process of creating one.