Middlesbrough Council’s Interim Policy on Conversions of Residential Properties will be applied during the consideration of planning applications.
The policy – part of the town’s Local Plan – was drawn up to address the issue of larger properties being sub-divided into smaller units such as flats and bedsits.
While the creation of smaller residential dwellings can help to meet local needs, it can also result in the loss of much needed family housing, resulting in a fundamental change to the character of an area.
Proposals will therefore be considered in the context of their potential impact on the local area and whether it would lead to the oversupply or unacceptable loss of particular dwelling types.
Planning applications will also need to demonstrate that the properties are capable of being sub-divided in such a way that results in an acceptable standard of accommodation.
The Council will consider the size of the proposed units against nationally-described space standards and the impact that the proposal would have on the amenity of nearby properties.
Conversion of properties with shared communal space can also raise issues over the location of bins, cycles and outdoor space and long-term privacy and amenity issues for residents, particularly those at ground floor.
It is recognised that individual units for student and communal accommodation may fall below the nationally prescribed space standards.
However, proposals for such accommodation will also be expected to provide a high standard in terms of the space, usability, privacy and amenity which is suitable for long-term accommodation.
At a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive on Tuesday, December 19, it was agreed to adopt the interim policy which will be updated to reflect the outcome of consultation.
Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure, said: “Our conversion policy came about in response to concerns raised by the community, and because our Local Plan does not specifically deal with the sub-division and conversion of existing dwellings.
“This is not a blanket ban, and we fully acknowledge that much of our existing stock is appropriate for conversion.
“However, any such development needs to be undertaken in such a way that it results in good quality living accommodation for future occupiers, and does have an unacceptable impact on nearby residents for other residents living nearby.
“This approach is also in line with our over-arching Social Regeneration agenda which will ensure all our communities are well placed to play their part in Middlesbrough’s future.”
- The Interim Policy on Conversions of Residential Properties will be the subject of a four-week public consultation from Monday, January 15 to Monday, February 12.
Submissions can be made at libraries or via the Council’s website.