Student let plan sparks protests

8:01am Wednesday 5th December 2012

RESIDENTS are protesting against plans for another student let in a York village, saying they are worried about problems with noise at antisocial hours.

Osbaldwick parish councillors have also raised concerns about the calculations being used by council officials to work out whether the proposal should be turned down under new planning rules.

City of York Council has received the application to turn a post-war semi-detached house in Tranby Avenue into a house of multiple occupation (HMO) to provide accommodation for six students.

Planning consultants Yew Tree Associates said permission would not have been needed previously but is now required after the authority adopted “article 4” powers, allowing it to control the proliferation of HMOs in the city.

The consultants said the scheme would not detract from the character of the area and is considered acceptable.

But near-neighbours have written to the council to express deep concerns about the impact on their lives. One said: “I worry about the noise levels in the area.

“Surely there is plenty of accommodation in the vicinity of the university already, and I understand that a lot of the purpose-built accommodation in Hull Road lies half empty.”

Another said: “There will be a problem with the fact that six people from a different generation to the majority of people living in this family-orientated area will create a lot of noise at unsocial hours, which is unacceptable.”

A third resident said: “I have for many years been treated for anxiety and nerves and I am very concerned about so many people living next door. This has always been an extremely quiet residential area.”

Laurie Pye, of Osbaldwick Parish Council, claimed there was a higher level of HMOs in the area than was indicated in the council’s database, which was used to help decide whether such applications should be turned down or approved.

He claimed the database had been similarly flawed with a previous proposal for an HMO in Farndale Avenue.

He said: “It could be argued until kingdom come that the figures are acceptable as they stand, but if they do not reflect reality on the ground, as understood by local residents, then the whole system falls into disrepute.”

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