Objections raised against new Armley shared housing application

3 September 2019

Objections have been registered over plans to create a house of multiple occupation (HMO) through a basement conversion, writes Keely Bannister.

Mr Kristoffer Carpenter is aiming to create two additional bedrooms, converting the property from the current four-bedroomed house in Armley Park Road to a six-bedroomed shared property.

He plans to lower the basement floor and changing the space, which is currently used for storage, into an en-suite bedroom and a living room. 

The current living room, which is located on the ground floor, will be converted into a bedroom.

To add extra natural light into the basement, lightwells will be added or extended with windows being increased to “full height” and doors being glazed.

Five objections are listed on the planning portal from people living on Armley Park Road as well as other parts of LS12.

Mary Erin Finegan is one of the objectors. She said:

“The property above has been kept in a state of disrepair with the front garden piled with rubbish over the summer, creating a perfect breeding space for pests.

“Armley Park Road is already packed full of cars, making it often difficult to park near our home with our young children, I don’t believe packing in more renting tenants will improve this issue. There are already a number of HMOs on this street.”

Caleb Price, who objected as an owner/resident of 18 Armley Park Road, and owner/landlord of 20 Armley Park Road, wrote that he “strongly objected” to this application. He added:

“Over the 17 years which I have lived on Armley Park Road, I have seen the terrace of numbers 2-24 steadily transition from a noisy, untidy and litter ridden environment to one which is relatively quiet and well cared for by the majority of local residents.

“I attribute this to the gradual change in use of the houses from HMOs to residences for families, couples and single people. Both owner-occupiers and rental residents of the terrace have positively contributed to the environment in recent times.”

A report from the council’s highways team states that they have no objection to the plans, subject to a number of conditions being met. These include cycle storage, suitable bin storage and occupiers being ineligible for parking permits.

HMOs – houses is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one ‘household’ but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen – have long been a controversial topic in Armley.

In a landmark ruling in August 2017, councillors on the South and West plans panel refused a HMO application on Conference Road in Armley saying that granting it “would alter the character of the area, that another HMO would affect community cohesion, cause parking problems and would lead to the loss of a much-needed family home”.

However, the developer appealed and the decision to refuse was overturned by an independent Government planning inspector Andrew McCormack, who said:

“I find that the property is situated in a well-connected area which does not have a high concentration of HMOs. Therefore its impact on the character of the area in terms of its use will be very limited and, in my view, the proposal would help to meet a significant demand for this type of housing in Leeds.”

You can read and comment on the application by visiting this link

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