'Supersize me' bid for former semis to become one of Corby's biggest HMOs
The landlord wants to create 11-bedrooms in these two former family homes
A landlord wants permission to convert an existing HMO in Corby into two units with a total of eleven bedrooms.
The house, which was originally two semi-detached family homes, would become what is thought to be one of the town's two largest Houses in Multiple Occupancy if permission is granted by North Northamptonshire Council.
Its owner wants to create one large HMO with ten bedrooms and a smaller one-bed self-contained unit in the extension at the rear of the house.
The property is at the end of Landseer Court, a road that already has six large HMOs and an unknown number of smaller ones.
The application form states that the HMO currently has eight rooms although floor plans submitted to the council suggest that there are fourteen existing bedrooms in the house including one of only 5sqm - smaller than the minimum requirement of 6.5m. The existing HMO licence is for eight rooms and the owner has been told not to allow two of the rooms to be used as a condition of his licence.
The applicant, Tony Spanier, is the director of a company called Kent Capital Partners that already runs ten registered HMOs in Corby. Rooms in the house are being let out at about £412 per month including bills and the estate agent's floorplans suggest the work has already been carried out.
One neighbour said that there is also another large HMO just across the road from the property in question and that she thought there was too many such homes in the street.
She said: "They sit out at the front of the property at night and it can be quite loud. There's been times they were out the front drinking all the time and there's only so much parking in the street as it is.
"I think we'd all prefer it to be a family home."
The Hazel Leys estate has more than its fair share of HMOs and local man James Cuff, who lives close by, says that the council should use a different set of standards in order to assess whether HMOs are within regulations.
He said: "I would like to see the council review the HMO licenses already issued. They were granted using the Amenities and Space Standards system, which I refer to as four walls and a lick of paint.
"They do not look at parking, neighbours' objections, adequate bins, or compel the landlord to maintain their gardens or fencing. I feel they should all be re-assessed using a modified version of the Government's own Housing Health and and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) which identifies 29 hazards landlords should be looking at."
If granted permission, the house in Landseer Court would become Corby's biggest HMO aside from the town's homeless shelter in Dorking Walk and an existing ten-bed HMO in Bradford Walk. Last summer a property developer applied to change an eight-bed HMO into a ten-bed HMO in Croyde Avenue but no decision on that house has yet been made public.
An application for a twelve-bed HMO in Ennerdale Road was initially turned down by planners, before they gave the go-ahead for a scaled-down eight-bed HMO in the property. They also turned down a request for a nine-bed HMO in Blake Road.
The local highways authority, NNC environmental services and Northamptonshire Police have been consulted and have no objections to the scheme.
The Northants Telegraph this week launched a campaign for an article four declaration in Corby after our investigation revealed there are 263 large HMOs in the town. The profusion of HMOs in the town has caused issues for local residents with parking, rubbish and noise and has also pushed up rental prices to unachievable levels for many families.
You can view the latest application and make comments on the council's website here.