Three new student shared houses are opening in Loughborough, despite opposition from councillors and residents.
Small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), for three to five unrelated tenants sharing, need planning permission before landlords can let them.
Loughborough is one of the university towns which have special article 4 planning powers to control the number of HMOs.
Guidelines for planners state that no more than a fifth of houses in a neighbourhood should be HMOs. This aims to maintain a good balance in the local community of students and families.
The three new properties were approved by the planning committee as members agreed with the council’s planning officers that they would have no adverse effect on neighbourhoods.
Objectors had questioned the statistics presented to councillors in support of the decision.
One property, in New Ashby Road, attracted objections from the highways authority, which claimed more parked cars could lead to an increase in road accidents.
A petition was signed by 61 residents and two councillors and Councillor Julie Bradshaw spoke out against the plans. The Storer and Ashby Road Residents Group also opposed the HMO and one of the others at the former Crown and Cushion pub in Ashby Square.
Russ Bowman on behalf of the group said: “Statistics show that Ashby Road has the third greatest number of complaints for anti-social behaviour in the first three months of the academic year.
“The Highway Authority generally falls on the side of developer so when they say there’s a problem there really is a problem.”
Planning officer Peter Blitz explained that a road side hedge limited the potential for accidents due to parked cars.
The vote for the proposals was an equal split, so chair Paul Day had the casting vote and decided to approve the HMOs.
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about the changes it did present the prospect of a major change for the