44-bed HMO in Kirk Hallam Got a Green Light

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A council in Kirk Hallam has approved plans for a 44-bedroom house in multiple occupation despite “fears of crime, thievery, and pilfering”. The HMO would sit opposite Butterfly Castle Day Nursery.

Some of the local residents gave passionate speeches at last night’s meeting.

A petition signed by 313 neighbours calling for the scheme to be refused was submitted to the council at the meeting.

Colin Haywood, who has lived in the area for 20 years, said that the area used to be a hotbed for crime and that things are finally back on track.

He said: “When we first moved here there was thieving, pilfering and vandal damage and eggs were thrown at houses – and you know the mess that causes.”

Mr Haywood also added that the development could cause a return to “thieving and pilfering” and that he had “never seen such a hair-brained scheme such as this”.

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Another neighbour, Anne Gamble, said: “Transient residents would not integrate into the local community.

“There is a great potential for anti-social behaviour and it could have a severe effect on the area.”

Claire Farrington, a director at Farrington Properties, said that the residents in their other HMOs are working professionals and their average age is 35 and above.

The agent for the applicants, Alastair Thornton, said: “The development would add to the existing housing stock. It is the product of months of work with the council.

“The principle of development is widely acceptable and it is a sustainable reuse of an empty building. It has fallen into a state of disrepair and is a detriment to the area.

“The previous use of this location was residential which shows this is a wholly sustainable location.

“There can be no credible argument that this would have an adverse impact on the highways network. This would not be a halfway house and there is a demonstrated need.”

Councillors approved the plans by a vote of seven to five.

The firm is planning to split the former Derbyshire County Council care home into five “clusters” of bedrooms with a shared kitchen, dining area, bathroom and shower facilities in each cluster.

Each bedroom will be accessed independently and occupiers can make use of shared outdoor “amenity space” to the building.

In total there will be 13 parking spaces and spots for 40 bikes with access to the site off Hemlock Lane.


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