New shared home for area ‘over-run by students’

166 Heath Hill Avenue, Bevendean
166 Heath Hill Avenue, Bevendean

Another family home in Bevendean will be converted into a student house.

Residents and councillors pushed for refusal as the area is becoming dominated with shared houses, known as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

The project will mean that a three-bedroom family home is converted into a six-bedroom shared house with two shower rooms.

Penny Hajduk, of Manton Road, Bevendean, said: “The playgroup has shut down as there aren’t enough children. The school has dropped to one-form entry which, in the long-term, is not financially sustainable. Moulsecoomb Primary find themselves in the same position.

“There are numerous purpose-built student housing units recently built and many more proposed for the Preston Barracks/Lectern site. Surely the residential areas can be spared any further incursion?”

Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward councillor and Brighton and Hove City Council leader Daniel Yates asked the council’s planning committee to discuss the application for 166 Heath Hill Avenue.

Fellow Moulsecoomb and Bevendean ward and Labour councillor Anne Meadows also objected because of the number of shared houses in the area.

She said: “With 40 per cent HMOs in The Avenue, which this road leads off, it far exceeds the allowance for HMOs in one area so this planning application should be avoided.”

Residents sent nine letters objecting to the application, describing the area as “overrun by students”.

When work is complete, the garage will become a kitchen/living area with the downstairs changed to two bedrooms and a shower room.

The planning committee heard that there were no other HMOs within 50 metres and approved permission.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

For more of her stories, click here.