Elvet Estates assisted by the Planning Station representing an overseas client has successfully appealed a planning decision of Durham County Council who rejected an attempt to convert 10 High Wood View into a house of multiple occupation. The process took over 12 months in total but means that 10 High Wood View which is directly opposite to the University Law School can now be used as a house in multiple occupation from September.
Peter Smith Managing Director of Elvet Estates whilst delighted with the outcome feels a degree of sympathy for the council planners. “the policy is not clear and open for so much interpretation. It is far easier for the council to reject plans and have them determined by the planning inspectorate as it introduces a degree of plausible deniability on their part. They have a tough job to do and need the tools to do it. A clearer policy is what is needed, and this decision seems to give guidance that if there is a level of HMO within 100 meters of 70% or above then consent should be given. At the moment a coach and horses can be driven through the policy. The lower limit in relation to the number of HMO in a 100 meter radius, may be somewhat restrictive but the total lack of an upper limit is preventing sound applications from being granted and stopping long term residents or their heirs from getting the best value for their homes or even being able to sell them at all”.
The Article 4 Direction was introduced in 2016 to help prevent the spread of Student Housing in the face of the expansion of Durham University. Peter Smith added, “Durham is not alone in having issues with its policies, we do work in 16 University Towns and Cities and 14 of them have article 4 direction and all face similar issues”.
As well as winning the appeal Elvet Estates also won a costs order against the council as in the words of the Inspector Mr Tim Wheeler Durham County Council has exhibited unreasonable behaviour "resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense, described in the Planning Practice Guidance, has been demonstrated and that a full award of costs is justified."
We're Award Winning
Elvet Estates was founded in 2014 by the directors of the multi-award winning student housing provider, Bill Free Homes.
We are proud members of:
“My property is let through Elvet Estates. I am extremely impressed with their service. They are quick, reliable, and have made it very easy. Thank you! ”
“Elvet went above and beyond to make the stressful home selling process as efficient as possible. They were always keeping me informed of progress and were easy to contact and I would have no hesitation in recommending or using them again”
“Elvet estates made buying my first home enjoyable and simple! Tanya was so supportive and helped me with anything she could, always being so kind and friendly! Could not get better support anywhere else! Kept me right all the way through! HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Thank you so much Elvet Estate's couldn't have done it without yous!”
“Great company, friendly and helpful staff. Would highly recommend! ”
“Couldn’t fault Elvet Estates. Sold our house in 5 days and the fees are really reasonable. Tanya was excellent through the whole process answering all our questions and making the process so much easier. Would definitely use this company again”
“I was very pleased with the service from Elvet Estates. Very friendly helpful staff . Professional no-nonsense service and a very quick result. Thank you all.”