January 26, 2023 1.30 pm This story is over 15 months old

Residents lament loss of “community spirit” amid “sea” of HMOs in retrospective extension bid

Fears more landlords will be encouraged to cram more people in

Residents have said a Lincoln street has lost its community spirit amid a “sea” of HMOs as a retrospective application for an extension was passed.

City of Lincoln Councillors voted to give the go-ahead to an Avondale Street HMO extension, despite the plans being submitted retrospectively, on Wednesday night.

Those against the plans, however, fear that more landlords will be encouraged to cram more people in.

Resident Annie Griffiths, who spoke against the plans, said HMOs take up “most of the bottom half of the street” and reported  numerous issues with the construction work and resultant rubbish.

“The community spirit for which the Monks Road area was once renowned is all but gone as a seemingly endless parade of short-term tenants come and go with little respect for the area or the properties in which they live,” she said.

“Litter and anti-social behaviour is rife… always centred upon the HMOs in the area.”

Objectors also said developers “disrespected” the planning system by not applying for permission before works began.

Objectors to the HMO said there was a “sea” of similar developments in the area.

Ward Councillor Clare Smalley said 42% of the properties in the street were HMOs which she said was “quite high”.

There were also concerns that enough consultation had not been carried out, with some residents reporting not being contacted.

She said the lack of planning permission meant that building work, noise and other disturbances could not be enforced during construction.

The Avondale Street house could accommodate six people prior to the extension.

The application had been submitted by Awake Architects on behalf of Mr Tanzeel Rehman.

During the meeting on Wednesday, councillors were sympathetic to the residents, but agreed with officers recommendations to approve, saying there were no material planning reasons to reject the application.

Councillor Calum Watt said: “They’re all relevant issues and their right to raise them, but I don’t think it’s within the purview of this committee to essentially enact revenge by denying the application on basis of these other issues.”

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