PLANS to turn a Sunderland home into bedsits have been rejected after fears over the type of residents it might attract.
The work to convert 22 Percy Terrace, Hendon, started in January, with a part-retrospective planning application later submitted.
The proposal involved the creation of an eight-bedroomed ‘house in multiple occupation’, with communal areas including a kitchen and three bathrooms and a dormer at the back.
Nine objections were submitted by neighbours and the case was referred to the South Sunderland development control committee by Hendon ward councillor, Barbara McClennan – where it was refused.
Concerned neighbour Emma Jones, who lives nearby with her husband and two-year-old daughter, wrote in her submission: “I do have concerns over the type of people that such a property would attract. Our terrace is a lovely place to live, and it is a very ‘family rich’ street, with a fantastic family feel to it, knowing that our children can play out in the safety of a gated private road.”
Adding that she has no objection to the property as a whole being let to a family, she said: “It is the type of person that would move into a shared bedsit-type house with six other people that worries me. I think I’m ultimately concerned that we will see a detrimental impact on the terrace with a potential for anti-social behaviour, increase in crime and that this development will open the floodgates for other landlords to develop properties in the street in the same way.”
Fellow resident Tracey Smith wrote: “A transient population, which a multi-occupancy house will bring, will not be concerned with safety of our children or the impact of unwelcome behaviour on neighbours.” Michelle Sterricker, who also lives in the street, added: “I have lived in Percy Terrace for 20 years and during this time have always felt the terrace has been a family orientated safe place to live with my family.
“The terrace has a residence association and often puts on family events such as street parties during special occasions.
“At present, children can play out safely without concerns of too much traffic or people unknown living in the area.”
Rejecting the application, the council deemed the plans unacceptable due to the density of the development and it being out of character with the surrounding area, while also citing overcrowding as a concern and the potential for noise disturbance.