Objections to ‘cell-like’ bedsits plan which would result in Doncaster town centre office block converted into accommodation

Objections have been lodged to a plan for ‘cell-like’ accommodation which would result in a former Doncaster town centre office block being turned into a number of bedsits.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 5:02 pm
The office block on the corner of Silver Street and East Laith Gate which could be converted into accomodation

The applicants, listed only as Mr and Mrs Dickinson want to cover the block on the corner of Silver Street and East Laith Gate into nine rooms and a shared kitchen.

The Homes of Multiple Occupation (HMO) would be accessed via an internal staircase, providing nine independent bedrooms each with a private en-suite bathroom. There will be a shared kitchen/dining space for future tenants if approved.

But the application was called in by former Town ward councillor Tosh McDonald who lodged an objection to the plan.

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He said there were already too many types of these properties in this area. The objection was backed by former Town ward councillor Nikki McDonald and returned councillor Dave Shaw.

Doncaster Civic Trust also objected and said the plan showcased a ‘poor standard of accommodation’ and the rooms looked ‘cell-like’.

They added that fewer and larger rooms for future residents would be better.

The floorplans show that four of the nine bedrooms will be large enough to provide double beds. The remaining bedrooms will be single rooms. All bedrooms are said to be large enough to accommodate a ‘small sofa’.

A recent application related to the same property looked to change the use from office to create four one-bedroom flats but the HMO application looks to replace this permission.

An application was approved in October 2020 relating to the ground floor and basement of the property. This application granted permission to allow those floors to be used as café/restaurant with storage at the basement level.

The agent has confirmed that the first floor of the property is used as office space.

Planning officer Jessica Duffield has recommended councillors on the planning committee approve the plans.

She said: “There are no material planning considerations that would significantly or demonstrably outweigh the social, economic or environmental benefits of the proposal.

“The development would not cause undue harm to neighbouring properties or the character of the area.

“The proposal is considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“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 Framework taken as a whole.

“The proposal is compliant with the adopted development plan and adopted policies and there are no material considerations which indicate the application should be refused.”

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