A PLAN to convert a city bed and breakfast into a 13-bed house of multiple occupation (HMO) looks set to be approved.
The application would see Wyatt Guest House in Barbourne Road transformed into the apartments with a number of shared facilities.
The guest house, which sits in the Shrubbery Avenue conservation area and is designated as being within an archaeologically sensitive area, is split over four floors all of which are proposed to be converted.
Permission to demolish a conservatory at the back of the eight bedroom B&B to make way for two studio apartments, three flats and a town house was approved in March 2018.
The demolition and extension would work still go ahead if Worcester City Council’s planning committee goes along with its planning department and approves the plan at a meeting on Thursday (May 23).
The building has been up for sale since April 2015. The B&B owners wanted to sell the building to a developer to carry out the work but it gathered little interest resulting in the request to convert the building into a HMO.
The new plan shows 13 bedrooms each with an en-suite with a shared kitchen and a shared communal area.
Three bedrooms spread across the extension would share another kitchen and communal area.
According to council planners, approving the application would push the percentage of homes within a 100 metre radius up to 9.5 per cent.
The council’s planning policy on HMOs allows for no more than ten per cent of homes within a 100 metre radius to be classed as HMOs.
Council planners were also satisfied the other HMO policies – which ensures no more than two adjacent properties are HMOs and supports applications for HMOs unless it has a negative effect on parking, results in insufficient space for waste and recycling or is out-of-keeping with the character of the area – were not broken.
Neighbours were incorrectly told by the council the new HMO would be breaking the ten per cent threshold because of a miscalculation.
Neighbours were told of the mistake through a letter.
Council planners said the building being used as a more permanent residence rather than a temporary B&B would increase activity in the area.
The size of the HMO would usually require at least four parking spaces but planners have accepted the lack of parking due to its close location to the city centre.
By Christian Barnett
Source: Hereford Times