‘Bedsit’ style house rejected – but planning inspector accepts principle of development

A plan that could have led to an old insurance broker’s office on the edge of Barnsley town centre being turned into a home for eight people has been rejected by a planning inspector.

By Paul Whitehouse
Monday, 05 August, 2019, 11:15
Rejected: This former office has been turned down for conversion to housing with eight separate bedrooms

But the application, to convert the building on Eldon Street North, into a house of multiple occupation, was rejected not on the principle of the change but because of concerns for the quality of the living conditions the property would have provided.

In her findings, planning inspector Kate Mansell said: “I recognise the appeal site lies within an accessible location where residential development is acceptable in principle.

“It would also make better use of a building that has been vacant for approximately two years.

“Furthermore, I acknowledge that the Government seeks to boost significantly the supply of housing to which the accommodation would contribute to a degree.

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“These factors weigh in its favour.

“However, whilst I find that the scheme would provide a sufficient housing mix, the benefits of the proposal are outweighed in this instance by the failure to provide satisfactory living conditions for future occupiers.”

There is increasing concern among some residents about the impact of increased numbers of houses of multiple occupation, where residents have their own room but share facilities like the kitchen and bathroom, on some residential areas. Barnsley Council has commissioned its own work on the arrangements, which are increasingly common in some areas close to the town centre.