Building manager claims 20-bed HMO at site of former Doncaster hotel will not be a 'doss house,' as plans are approved

Plans to turn a Doncaster hotel into a 20-bed house of multiple occupation where tenants will share just two kitchens has been given the green light, despite numerous objections.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 3:46 pm

Councillors voted five to four in favour of proposals to convert the Kellett Hotel on Thorne Road into 20 homes of multiple occupation (HMO) during a meeting on Tuesday, January 7.

The plans also include space for an 18-bay car park.

Applicant Anna Ang said the HMOs will follow the ‘boutique standard’ decor the hotel originally had as well as a cleaner and ‘handyman/gardener’ with one living on site.

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The former Kellett Hotel is set to be turned into a 20-bed HMO after plans were approved yesterday
The former Kellett Hotel is set to be turned into a 20-bed HMO after plans were approved yesterday

But the plans have prompted objections from local residents and all three Town ward councillors.

Helen Henderson who spoke in favour of the application, told councillors she is currently the hotel manager and would become the ‘building manager’.

She said they would be ‘different’ from HMOs which are often ‘doss houses’ and added they would be ‘single occupancy’ rooms for ‘residents in employment’.

“We aim to provide a facility that people enjoy and aim to rise above the thoughts around HMOs which residents are concerned about in the surrounding areas,” she said.

Comments were not available for public view but concerns were raised over density of the property, an increase in noise and anti-social behaviour as well contradicting the council’s own Local Plan.

Some claimed there is ‘not enough capacity in local services’ to support any more HMOs, in terms of hospitals and GP surgeries and the proposals would have a ‘detrimental impact on the surrounding area’.

Other issues raised included the ‘type of people’ who reside in HMOs but planning officers said this was ‘not a material planning consideration’.

All three town ward councillors objected to the proposal. Coun Dave Shaw, who addressed the planning committee said there was already an ‘over-proliferation of HMOs’ in the area already.

Following changes to planning rules, any applicant who submits proposals to convert a property into five or more HMOs must come the planning committee

Doncaster Council planning officer Alicia Murray, said: “Officers have identified no adverse economic, environmental or social harm that would significantly or demonstrably outweigh the benefits identified when considered against the policies in the planning framework.”