22-bed HMO plan opposed by town council

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An application to transform a former care home into a large house of multiple occupation (HMO) has been criticised by town leaders.

The proposal to create 22-bed house in the place of a now closed care home in Morton Road, Exmouth, has drawn some opposition from neighbours and now the town council.

At a meeting of the council’s planning committee, members voted to not support the application citing concerns over the limited space for people to live in and concerns for parking in the area.

The plan has also had objections from two neighbours who had fears over the social impact of the HMO and the affect on parking.

Speaking at the meeting, district councillor for Exmouth Town, Tim Dumper also had concerns that work ‘appeared’ to have started on the project.

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He said: “It is pushing more and more people into what are essentially limited spaces.

“There was another application in 2016 which was withdrawn and that was for a HMO of 18 bedrooms.

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“I’m not happy about the retrospective nature of the application and the fact works are already going on.”

Cllr Toye said the Morton Road area ‘can not take’ anymore parking and pointed out that the emerging Exmouth neighbourhood plan has clear advice on car parking.

Cllr Caygill questioned the definition of a 22-bed home, suggesting that, if they are two-bed rooms, there could be as many as 44 people living there.

Former mayor cllr Maddie Chapman said she was unsure about whether or not to support this as it might be used to house homeless people.

She said: “It says 22-bedroom house of multiple occupancy so who are going to living there?

“If it’s to house individual homeless people in need of housing then wouldn’t be need of parking – it depends on who is being housed there.

“If it is to help homeless people then I think we do have a problem in Exmouth therefore it could be a good idea.”

The care home closed its doors in 2015 and the building has been subject of previous planning applications to convert it into 10 apartments and to create an 18-bed HMO.

The final decision will be made by East Devon District Council.

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