To consider report PES/381aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to PERMIT.
The Committee considered reportof the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Change of use from a six person house in multiple occupation (C4) to a hostel (sui generis) for six people to be managed by Crawley Homes.
Councillors Ali, Burrett, Jaggard, and P Smith declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer provided a verbal summation of the application for a change of use, which related to a detached two storey, six bedroom house in Three Bridges. The Officer gave detail of the various relevant planning considerations as detailed in the report, which suggested that the proposed hostel would help meet Crawley’s need for accommodation for homeless people and would not cause significant harm to neighbouring amenity.
Nikki Hargrave spoke on behalf of the applicant, Crawley Borough Council, in support of the application. Matters raised included:
Brenda Burgess, Ward Councillor for Three Bridges, spoke on behalf of residents in objection to the application. Matters raised included:
· Neighbours of the site had described anti-social behaviour at the property under its current use, and had raised concerns that this could be exacerbated under the proposed new use.
· Clarity was sought over the number of occupants housed in each room.
· It was important to neighbours of the site that the property be regularly monitored by the applicant.
The Committee then considered the application. Following a query regarding the possible provision of a seventh bedroom within the property, the Planning Officer highlighted the importance of a large communal space for tenants to use for dining, relaxing, and socialising with one another. The Committee noted that the design of the house lent itself to six individuals sharing communal facilities rather than multiple family units with in-room amenities. It was confirmed that the property was proposed to be used by six people and that this was to be controlled by a condition; if approved, the number of occupants would not be able to be changed without the Local Planning Authority varying that condition. Tenants were not to be allocated a fixed term of residency at the dwelling, but were to be able to stay indefinitely. It was noted that the proposal sought to prevent homelessness.
It was recognised that the management of the proposed hostel by Crawley Borough Council would allow the property to be monitored and any issues addressed more easily and efficiently than under the current use.
The Planning Officer confirmed that no physical changes to the building were proposed as part of this application. Any future changes would require a separate planning application.
Permit subject to conditions set out in report PES/381a.