Planners have given the green light for a nine-bed house in multiple occupation (HMO) and a two-storey extension to a house in North Bristol. Neighbours raised fears about a loss of privacy and overlooking from the huge shared house, off a quiet cul-de-sac in Filton.
Property developers now have planning permission to build the extension on 54 Gayner Road, off the northern end of Gloucester Road. Councillors on South Gloucestershire Council’s development management committee voted to approve permission on Thursday, March 16.
Concerns from people living nearby included the increased number of residents creating more rubbish, parking pressures and noise late at night. The house is accessed down a narrow lane, with gardens of neighbouring houses lying visible on either side of the lane.
Anne Minihane, a neighbour, said: “The properties on either side of the lane will be overlooked. Smells will increase from the additional generation of rubbish, as well as light pollution from the additional vehicles driving up and down the lane. Privacy will be lost from the greater number of occupiers travelling up and down the lane and looking into the gardens.
“Gayner Road is a cul-de-sac of family homes. This is an area perfect for a family to make their home and bring up their children, the next generation of South Gloucestershire citizens, paying their council tax and contributing to society. And yet there is a severe shortage of family homes in the area.”
Filton Town Council also objected to the plans, due to the increasing concentration of HMOs in the surrounding area. Most of the extension works have already been carried out, so the planning application was for retrospective permission.
The developer recently received planning permission to also turn the house next door, 52 Gayner Road, into an eight-bed HMO too. Commenting on concerns about the proliferating number of student shared houses, the developer told the committee that a stabbing victim outside a nearby pub was recently saved by a medical student, “so they’re not all bad”.
Samuel Andrews, the property developer behind the scheme, said: “I understand that there is discrimination against student HMOs. However, an HMO can be used for professionals as well, such as NHS workers, and are much needed currently, especially with the cost of living crisis.
“There was actually a stabbing outside the Bulldog pub last month, where a local medical student was one of the first on scene and helped stem the bleeding of the victim, until the emergency services arrived. So students aren’t all bad.”