Agenda item

TWC/2020/0941 - Norwood House Hotel, Pave Lane, Newport, Shropshire TF10 9LQ


This application sought a change of use from an existing dining/function room (Use class A3) into five bedrooms with communal shower facilities (Use class C1) and replacement windows (part-retrospective) at Norwood House Hotel, Pave Lane, Newport, Shropshire TF10 9LQ.


Councillor A Eade, Ward Member, had requested that the application be determined by the Planning Committee.


A site visit had taken place on the afternoon prior to the meeting.


Councillor B Page spoke against the application on behalf of the Parish Council.  They welcomed the heritage protection, but raised concerns regarding Paragraph 92 of the NPPF in relation to health and safety due to the current use of the hotel which was being used to accommodate vulnerable people.  Local residents welcomed the hotel returning to paying business guests/tourists/family and friends and the limited time condition of 28 days at one time and no return and the monitoring of the logbook.


Councillor A Eade, Ward Councillor, made representations against the application in terms of the lack of amenities and transport, difficulties local residents had experienced during the pandemic in relation the hotel’s use as a HMO.  The application was retrospective as most of the work had already been undertaken without approval.  He welcomed the condition in relation to the maximum of 28 days stay to ensure the operation of a hotel and not as a main residents and strongly requested that the condition be extended to no return within 28 days of the hotel stay ending.  Concerns relating to the removal of the restaurant, car parking, access and highway issues were also raised.


Mr M Bubb, a member of the public, spoke against the application on behalf of the residents who raised concerns with regard to the current use of the hotel as a HMO, the additional five bedrooms, noise, parking, amenities and the lack of parks.  He asked that members reject the application.


The Planning Officer informed Members that this application was for a change of use with the restaurant/function room being converted into five additional budget bedrooms with shared bathrooms.  The principal of development had already been established due to its current operating use as a hotel.  The application fell within the rural area which supported tourism with facilities nearby.  The concerns of residents regarding the current use as temporary accommodation for vulnerable people was a temporary measure and not subject to the current application.   The application was for the conversion of the dining room into five bedrooms and the decision needed to be made on the content of the application together with the conditions including the restriction of occupancy to 28 days with a 28 days vacancy period following a stay by any resident and no transfer to alternative rooms.  With regard to the status of the rooms, there was no guidance in planning legislation to prevent its use and although there were no windows in the additional bedrooms, sunlight tunnels would be built into the rooms and if Members were minded to approve the application the sunlight tunnels to rooms 7, 8, 9 and 10 would need to be implemented within six months of the permission be granted.  The officers’ view was that the Local Planning Authority would have difficulty finding reasonable justification to object to the application due to it already being run as a hotel business and the principle of the windows was accepted due to the use of appropriate materials and drawings.  There was no onsite manager but the property was surveyed by cameras on a day to day basis and occupants were asked to sign the fire safety policy on check in and this was a typical strategy for similar businesses across the country. 


During the debate some Members raised concerns regarding the additional rooms, car parking, lack of management on site, antisocial behaviour that was currently taking place and the use being a HMO, lack of windows in the rooms and the single corridor and the impact on the fire regulations, monitoring its use as a budget hotel, lack of transport and amenities, highway safety.  Members welcomed the addition of the condition for no return within 28 days of any stay.


The Planning Officers confirmed that the use as a budget hotel would be wholly different from its current operations and that the permission would remain in place if the current owners moved on.  The car parking was considered to be comparable with the previous use of the function room.  With regard to the sunlight tubes, the Building Regulations Team was aware of the work that needed to take place and could enforce separately if necessary.  These works were yet to take place but would be conditioned to ensure that this work was done within 6 months from the grant of any permission.  An informative would assist in relation to those works.  With regard to the use as a HMO going forward there would be a maximum stay of 28 days with a 28 day no return break.  The budget facilities meant that each room had shared facilities.


The Development Management Service Delivery Manager explained to Members that during the covid pandemic Local Authorities were asked to be proactive and allow the use of hotels to become HMOs without any enforcement action.  Going forward the HMO use would revert to its previous use as a budget hotel and enforcement would restart but in the meantime this would be kept under review until enforcement could take place.


The Legal Advisor asked Members if the standard wording to allow the Development Management Service Delivery Manager delegated power to finalise conditions to be included in the resolutions.


On being put to the vote it was, by a majority:


RESOLVED – that in respect of Planning Application TWC/2020/0941 that delegated authority be granted to the Development Management Service Delivery Manager to grant full planning permission subject to the conditions and informatives contained within the report with the notable addition regarding the 28 day vacancy period following any stay (with authority to finalise conditions and reasons for approval to be delegated to Development Management Service Delivery Manager).

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