Another HMO not welcome

By Chris Cornford Mar 1, 2021

Residents are objecting to another application for a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) — this time in Sandown.
Among objections to the application to change the use of The Hendre on Leed Street, Sandown, residents say they are already “blighted by the HMOs” in the area, “sick of the trouble they cause” and “would not feel safe” having the tenants on their doorstep.

Plans have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council to change the current guest house into an eight-bed HMO. The application is by Two Saints, a homeless not-for-profit service, in partnership with the council, to be used as part of the homeless pathway to reduce rough sleeping and prevent homelessness.
In planning documents, Two Saints say the accommodation would be used as ‘move-on’ property with tenants usually staying between three and 12 months. Individuals who use the HMO will not be placed directly from the street but will have gone through an initial process to determine they are ready to live independently and successfully and not ‘negatively impact’ the local community.

One mother, however, objecting to the application is concerned having the HMO on the street will make a “scary and intimidating atmosphere” for her son, as anti-social behaviour comes “hand in hand” with this type of accommodation. She also said she was worried about crime levels increasing.
Another objector said there was a need for hotel and guest accommodation in the tourist destination, with another worried having the HMO next door to a hotel would “put off’ tourists.
Hampshire Constabulary’s crime and disorder officer said the police force broadly support the HMO but that was conditional on the tenants “being at the appropriate stage of recovery to reside there.” They do have “concerns” about the “possible problems” caused by the residents.

Any type of anti-social behaviour or nuisance in or outside of the property will not be tolerated, Two Saints has said, with a member of staff present six days a week and CCTV installed.
They said: “We believe the property to be a really good opportunity to change lives and enable people to take new steps on their individual journeys.”
The property is on the market for £450,000 and is described as a “successful bed and breakfast.”

To view or comment on the application, 21/00170/FUL, you can visit the council’s planning portal. Comments will be accepted until March 12.