Councillors in Yorkshire approve housing plan they ‘absolutely hate’

Councillors in Yorkshire “reluctantly” gave a green light to a plan to change a family house into multiple occupancy.

The house councillors agreed could be turned into a HMO
The house councillors agreed could be turned into a HMO

Sheffield Council's planning and highways committee voted to allow 51 Carrington Road, Ecclesall, to change to a four bedroom house where common areas are shared by more than one household.

Despite the vote in favour, they were unhappy about the plans but said they could not find a reason to reject it.

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Councillor Chris Rosling-Josephs, member of the committee, said: “I’ve never liked houses being turned into multiple occupancy use. It always irritates me that we are losing another nice piece of family housing.

“I read the report and I’ve really tried to find something that we could say is a reason to reject this but I’m going to have to vote for it.

"I absolutely hate it but I’m going to have to vote for it, because I cannot find any reason not to and that really upsets me because it’s a loss to a really good family house in a nice area and I think an (house in multiple occupation) there is just the wrong place but there is nothing I can find within the report to object to it.”

Coun Peter Garbutt, member of the committee, added: “Like Councillor Rosling-Josephs, I’m finding it quite difficult to find any reason to oppose this despite the fact that every bone in my body wants to.”

Other councillors expressed similar views but also “reluctantly” voted in favour.

The vote supported a council officer’s recommendation to grant permission with conditions.

In a report, they said: “The use is acceptable in principle within a housing area and there is not a concentration of such uses that would result in conflict (with policies).

“The application is acceptable and to meet the requirements of the relevant local and national policies. Consequently, the application is recommended for conditional approval.”

There was a total of 33 comments on the plans ahead of the meeting, all in objection. Objectors included neighbouring residents, local councillors Barbara Masters and Shaffaq Mohammed and Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam, on behalf of a constituent.