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Osbaldwick shared home plan backed
PLANNERS have approved one of the first proposals for shared houses since new rules were adopted to control their rapid growth in York.
However another scheme has been turned down under the new system of rules at City of York Council.
A bid to turn a four-bedroom home in Hazelwood Avenue, Osbaldwick, into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) was agreed by the council despite a petition signed by worried local residents and objections from parish councillors.
But another HMO proposal for Fourth Avenue, Tang Hall, was rejected because officers believed it would lead to an overconcentration of such properties in the area, as more than 10 per cent of properties within 100 metres were already shared. A third scheme in Bad Bargain Lane was also refused because of the impact of an extension on visual and neighbouring amenity.
The authority introduced a new “article 4” direction in April, following increasing concerns about the impact of a rapid growth in the number of student lets.
Officers said only 3.6 per cent of properties in the Hazelwood Avenue area were shared houses, nowhere near the 20 per cent threshold agreed under the new rule, and there were none within 100 metres, and therefore the change of use was likely to be acceptable.
Local resident and parish councillor Laurie Pye, who submitted the petition, claimed in a letter the new percentage rules were not controlling the “uncontrolled gallop” of multiple lets on the eastern side of York, but merely making life easier and simpler for officers and committees to nod through complex and difficult applications.
“All we see the percentage system doing is ensuring that one fifth of the family housing stock in Osbaldwick is consumed by multiple occupancies, with all the frightening social consequences that involves.”
Jonathan Carr, head of development management, said more than 3,000 people in York were consulted before the Article 4 Direction was introduced in April, which aimed to continue providing HMO accommodation to meet housing needs, but manage the supply of new HMOs to avoid high concentrations in an area.
“This approach has been adopted by other local authorities across the country as a reasonable way of limiting the concentration in certain areas, while maintaining balanced communities and protecting more family accommodation for that purpose.”
He added that another ten applications were pending a decision.