Residents’ anger over Westcliff HMO application

Residents are set to oppose another House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Westcliff where there are already almost fifty such properties.

Homeowners neighbouring 307 Hamlet Court Road have been notified of an application to turn a home into an eight-bedroom HMO with accommodation in the loft space and in a single storey rear extension.

One resident said: “I’m up the residential end of Hamlet Court Road and have a five-bed HMO in the house on the left of me and a five-bed HMO to the right of me.

“My neighbours opposite have come over to say they have a letter about the house next to them being turned into an eight-bedroom HMO. There is no off street parking for that side of the road and the plans look more like bedsits.”

The resident who asked not to be named added: “The council gave the two neighbours across the road a letter about the proposal but not opposite so we only have a week or two to object.

“I know we need more housing but this will be so detrimental to our quality of life in an already congested area.”

There are already three HMOs registered in a relatively short stretch of residential properties in Hamlet Court Road, two with five-beds and one with eight and 48 currently registered in Westcliff.

David Garston, councillor responsible for housing and planning, said: “The problem is HMO’s tend to go to the older properties in the centre of town and this is why the centre of town tends to get them more than outside.

“In my own ward I’ve got them in Carlton Avenue and Prittlewell and we have the usual complaints from the residents. If this is a new application they need to go to one of their Milton councillors to have the application called in to development control.”

Cllr Garston added: “Where you get older Edwardian and Victorian buildings they are large and ripe for HMOs.

“I do feel for the residents. You get good ones and bad ones but the application will be well scrutinised by our licensing team and our planning team.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter