Guesthouse's HMO application appeal rejected

photo of Rhonadean guesthouse in Great Yarmouth

The Rhonadean guesthouse applied for change of use to a HMO, but was rejected by councillors - Credit: Google

A bid to keep a seafront property as a house of multiple occupancy has been rejected by a planning inspector.

The owner of the former Rhonadean guesthouse on Wellesley Road in Great Yarmouth has lost a planning appeal over a retrospective planning application to turn it into a house of multiple occupancy.

Barbara Wheeler had appealed against a decision made by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to throw out her retrospective planning bid to convert the property into 12 separate bedrooms and also rooms for the owner.

The appeal decision was made by planning inspector Terrence Kemmann-Lane on October 25.

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

Rhonadean's planning appeal was rejected on October 25. - Credit: Archant

Mr Kemmann-Lane said that Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Local Plan Part 2 - which aims to conserve the character of the area around the seafront - was one of the main considerations for his final decision.

In a statement, Mr Kemmann-Lane said: "Whilst I have found that the individual accommodation within the existing rooms and their layout is satisfactory... the appeal proposal is clearly at odds with the aims of the council for this area.

"My overall conclusion is that the appeal must be dismissed."

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His statement continued: "Whilst [GYBC's Local Plan Part 2] is generally permissive of HMOs, the second paragraph states that 'new houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will not be permitted in the designated ‘seafront area’ and ‘back of seafront improvement area’ due to the need to protect the character and nature of these areas'."

The inspector praised "the strenuous efforts" of Mrs Wheeler to meet the requirements for planning.

Mr Kemmann-Lane added: "It is clear that considerable thought has been put into improving the internal layout and ensuring that every room meets the required bedroom sizes.

"I inspected each of these rooms. In my opinion they offered reasonable space for single person occupancy, and had I been allowing the appeal, I would have adopted the appellant’s suggestion of imposing a condition restricting these specific rooms to single occupancy only."

The inspector said that during the inspection, Mrs Wheeler said that if the property was allowed to become a house of multiple occupancy, it would "provide the social benefit of low cost accommodation".

However, Mr Kemmann-Lane said: "Nevertheless, I can see the importance of seeking to raise the quality and character of the area, which is the aim of the council’s policies."

This ongoing planning saga began in 2017.