The old surgery at 66 Crown road is currently being converted into 8 bed-sits. There is no planning application for this, no change of use has been granted and the builders are working as I type.
A previous planning application in respect of 66 Crown Road was refused last year. Richmond council have opened an enforcement case 09/0013EN.
If, like me, you have concerns regarding this development please email email@example.com quoting the case number above.
Today I received an e-mail from Richard Carter, Planning Enforcement Officer at LBRUT. (Tel: 020 8891 7458, Fax: 020 7789 7789, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) regarding the change of use building work at 66 Crown Road.
Mr. Carter stated that it is the owner's intention to apply before the end of March for planning permission for a change of use of the property - from single dwelling house to house of multiple occupancy (HMO) - in other words to create some form of hostel.
The council's web site - at www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/planning_consultation_comments_and_applications/objecting_to_or_supporting_a_planning_application/what_is_a_valid_objection_to_a_planning_application.htm - sets out the grounds for objecting to a planning application.
The Council's web site lists weekly planning applications at www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/search_planning_applications.htm.
To date, no application has been lodged.
If the hostel - is three or more storeys high - it has five or more people in more than one household, and - the occupants share amenities such as bathrooms, toilets or cooking facilities, it will be deemed to be a High Risk HMO and a licence application to LBRUT will be mandatory.
When considering an HMO licence application, the council must take in to account 2 broad issues :
- whether the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation by the number of persons, and - whether the licence holder is a fit and proper person.
The Council states that "In making [a fit and proper person] assessment the LA must have regard to
- any previous convictions relating to offences involving violence, sexual offences, drugs or fraud
- whether the proposed licence holder has contravened any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues
- whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination practices
- whether the person has managed HMOs otherwise than in accordance with any approved code of practice."
The licence holder will normally be the property's owner.
The Land Registry's web site states that the owner of 66 Crown Road is Mr. ROBERT GRAHAM MASSIE of 21 MASONS WAY, CODMORE HILL, PULBOROUGH, WEST SUSSEX RH20 1DZ, Tel. (01798) 872179. He bought 66 Crown Road on 11 December 2007 for £675,000, which was financed by a mortgage from the Northern Rock Building Society.
His previous addresses are 11 WEST TEMPLE SHEEN, EAST SHEEN, LONDON, SW14 7RT CONEYBURY COAST HILL LANE, WESTCOTT, DORKING, SURREY RH4 3LJ 12 CHAPEL CLOSE, LONDON ROAD WATERSFIELD, PULBOROUGH, WEST SUSSEX RH20 1SA
The 2009 Electoral Register states that he resides at 21 Masons Way with NICOLE MASSIE. The Electoral Rolls for 2002 - 2008 stated that he shared the properly with Nicole and MILDRED K MASSIE, NICOLE ANDERSON, ROMUALD M MATLEY.
Companies House Register of Directors shows a Robert Graham Massie to also reside at THE WHITE HOUSE 129 ANYARDS ROAD, COBHAM, SURREY KT11 2LJ. This is the same address as Burhill Homes Ltd - www.burhillhomes.com/index.html - a firm of commercial property developers, although the company's registered address is HAMILTON HOUSE 25 HIGH STREET, RICKMANSWORTH, HERTFORDSHIRE, WD3 1ET.
All the above information regarding Mr. ROBERT GRAHAM MASSIE is in the public domain and can be retrieved from the internet within about 20 minutes.
- Check the LBRUT weekly lists of planning applications for 66 Crown Road at www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/search_planning_applications.htm.
- Write to Richard Carter, Planning Enforcement Officer at LBRUT. (Tel: 020 8891 7458, Fax: 020 7789 7789, Email: email@example.com ) objecting to the application on the grounds listed at www.richmond.gov.uk/home/environment/planning/planning_consultation_comments_and_applications/objecting_to_or_supporting_a_planning_application/what_is_a_valid_objection_to_a_planning_application.htm
- Write to Richard Carter regarding the unsuitability of the proposed House of Multiple Occupancy within a neighbourhood of single family dwellings.
- Find out further public domain information regarding the property's owner - Mr. ROBERT GRAHAM MASSIE of 21 MASONS WAY, CODMORE HILL, PULBOROUGH, WEST SUSSEX RH20 1DZ, to help determine whether he is a fit and proper person to hold an HMO licence.
Change of Use Applications received. LBRUT Planning Dept has now received an application for change of use for 66 Crown Road from "A Doctors Surgery To A House For Multiple Occupancy." The applications details, so far as they exist, can be seen at www2.richmond.gov.uk/PlanData2/Planning_CaseNo.aspx?strCASENO=09/0703/COU The link to Scanned Images doesn't work at the time of writing this post. Please monitor the Planning Dept's web pages to check the status of this application. It is crucial that as many people as possible object the development of a hostel in a neighbourhood of families with young children.uncle ho on 2009-04-03 15:03:26 +0000
Thank you very much for that information it is greatly appreciated. I am very worried about a possible hostel in an area which is not suitable as there is a primary school in the same roadhilary english on 2009-06-30 13:49:03 +0000
On Thursday 2 July I met with Bryan Staff, North Ward planning officer, to discuss the proposed development of a hostel at 66 Crown Road.
- Supporting documentation and consultation with residents. Mr. Staff informed me that the applicant has submitted no documentation to support his request for planning permission other than those available on the Council's web site. This is not unusual and has no bearing on Mr. Staff's decision. Equally, the lack of consultation by the developer with the property's neighbours is not ideal but is irrelevant to the Council's assessment of the applications' merits.
- The intended residents. Mr. Staff is aware that a number of local residents, including a governor of Orleans Infant School, have concerns about the kind of people who will be living at the property. Consequently, he spoke by telephone with the developer on Wednesday (1 July 2009). Robert Massie assured him that the development is to be occupied by young professionals and not the recently homeless, ex-offenders, etc.. However, Mr. Staff confirmed to me that this statement is not part of the formal planning application, nor is it binding on the future use of the property. He may ask Mr. Massie to commit his intentions to writing and include the letter in the file of correspondence with the application, but such a letter would not be binding nor form part of the application. Mr. Staff went on to state that the Council has no powers to restrict who resides within the borough. He specified that proximity to the infant school would not be a reason to object to the scheme as anyone could move into the area or frequent the streets leading to the school.
- Overuse of site. Mr. Staff advised me that although the application fails to make special provisions for car and cycle parking, refuse collection, and recycling, the Council has the power to stipulate particular provisions for each issue, and grant conditional approval to the scheme. Further, the rejection of the previous planning application (to convert the property into 2 flats and 2 bedsits) on the grounds of car parking and overuse of the site is irrelevant to this application. Each application is judged on its merits, and is neither bound by nor refers to previous application rulings.
He advised that he would assess matters such as the ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms [8 bedroom to 1 bathroom and 2 wcs], and the number of rooms without a window [bedrooms #2 and #5, bathroom, and kitchen and living space appear from the plans not to have windows]. As the Council does not have any established density criteria for the occupancy of residential dwellings, he stated that this property's proposals would be judged on their own merits.
- Loss of amenity. In general, the Council's policy is to support the reversion of commercial property to residential use, but Mr. Staff felt that the change of use from a social amenity to a private residential dwelling may not be desirable for the Borough and would have to be considered. He was unfamiliar with the details of the doctors surgery and thought that it operated only on the ground floor, with the rest of the property being unused or flats.
- The number of HMOs in the borough. Mr. Staff does not know how many HMOs operate within the borough, nor whether Robert Massie owns or manages any of them. He advised that both issues are irrelevant to his decision.
- HMO licence. He thought that the property might require an HMO licence but wasn't sure (the council's own web site states that it does - www.richmond.gov.uk/hmo_policy.pdf). Without such a licence, the property could not be let to tenants. He is not aware of a licence application for this property.
- Process Prior to making a decision, Mr. Staff will consult the council's - Transport Department re parking; - Planning Policy re the property's role as a doctors' surgery; - possibly Environmental Health re the density of occupation and the quality of the property's provisions, and - local residents' objections.
Under delegated powers from the Planning Committee, he has the discretion to either reject the application, or, if he recommends it for approval, send it for review by the Committee. Residents who have objected to the development will be informed of the date of the Committee's hearing.
Bottom Line The idea that "young professionals" would want to live in an 8 bed hostel and share bathroom and kitchen facilities with strangers is not credible. When you were "a young professional" did you want to live in a hostel? Neither did I. A few friends and I chose to share a flat in a busier, younger, less family dominated part of inner London. I suspect today's "young professionals" will want to do something similar. So who will live in the hostel? According to Mr. Staff, anyone can live there - Mr. Massie's statement of intent is not binding and the Council has no power to veto its residents.
Proximity of the development to the infant school and your children is irrelevant.
Eight bedsits may house more than 8 people. Although an HMO of 8 bedsits requires a licence and a manager, he/she does not need to be resident in the property. The plans for 66 Crown Road make no provision to accommodate a manager. Mr. Massie may be the manager. He lives in Pulborough - 50 miles from St. Margarets.
No parking, refuse or recycling provisions have been made in the application. The refuse / recycling mess from 8 people will cause further clutter, untidiness and a feeding frenzy for foxes.
If young professionals are the target market, it is possible that they will own cars. 8 more cars from one house will exacerbate the parking congestion in Crown Rd, Napoleon Rd, and Claremont Rd.
The rejection of the previous planning application for overuse and congestion is irrelevant. At least one local resident has expressed the opinion that the grounds for the previous rejection hold true for the current application. They do, but unless local residents communicate such objections once again to the Council, Mr. Staff and the Planning Committee will not take them into account.
- Prior to July 16th, as many local residents as possible should submit objections to Mr. Bryan Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone: 0845 612 2660. According to the Council's leaflet "Objecting to or supporting a planning application", suitable grounds for objection include:
adequacy of parking - car and cycle adequacy of refuse and recycling provision highway safety traffic generation noise and disturbance previous planning decisions (although this is inconsistent with Mr. Staff's views)
You may know of other grounds for objection. Please share them here.
- Local residents may also wish to refer their concerns to the only ward councillor who is not part of the Planning Committee, Liberal Democrat and Deputy Mayor of the Borough, councillor Ben Khosa. Ben can be contacted at a) 15, Tayben Avenue, Twickenham, TW2 7RA, home phone: 0208 408 0586, email: email@example.com b) The Mayor's Office, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham TW1 3AA. Telephone: 020 8891 7123, Fax: 020 8891 7701, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If anyone else has discussed the hostel development with the Council, I would very interested to hear their feedbackgreg hughes on 2009-07-03 10:55:20 +0000
I have just read the application and was interested to note that the application shows 2 exisiting parking spaces. The only parking in the vicinity is residents parking.
When it was a surgery it had some on-street designated surgery space during working hours. This has since reverted to residents parking. As far as I am aware this is public highway and not under the ownership of Mr Massie.jayc on 2009-07-07 12:28:44 +0000