First Floor 114 London Road Headington Oxford OX3 9AJ

25 November 2016

Change of use from dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to House in Multiple Occupation (Use Class C4)

The Design and Access Statement for this application states that “there are no building works associated with the proposal.” In April 2016 (16/009290) permission was granted for a change of use from office (Use Class B1(a)) to residential (Use Class C3) to provide a 1 x 2 bedroom  flat at this address. There were no plans on the application. If the plans on the current application are correct, building work has taken place, in which the flat has been converted to contain 4 bedrooms, in the interval between the approval of the previous application and the registration of the current one. 

The layout of the flat is very poor with the only entrance giving on the area designated as a kitchen/dining room, which is also the only access to the 4 bedrooms and the bathroom. Thus all movements in and out of the flat and within the flat necessitate passing through an area of 18.2m2.  Bedroom 4 and the shower room are both very small and very close to the minimum permitted for HMO accommodation under regulation HP7. There is no indication in the application of where bins for waste and recycling are to be placed, and the Highway Authority has indicated that the area for cycle parking is not satisfactory.

The approval of this application would result not only in the loss of accommodation that might be used by a small family, although it lacks any amenity area, but will result in the creation of a very poorly designed house in multiple occupation. It should be rejected.