Former guest house to be turned into 12-bed home

A former guest house is set to be turned in to a large home for multiple occupants.

The former Albion Guest House will be redeveloped into a 12-bed House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO), should Wirral Council approve the proposal.

In recent times, HMO applications in Wirral have faced strong opposition from councillors.

One proposal in Egremont last year led Labour councillor Adrian Jones to say the building of too many multiple occupancy homes risked creating “tomorrow’s slums”.

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Wirral Council’s current planning policy states its reluctance to approve applications for new HMOs unless they meet a strict set of criteria.

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But LSF Estates, the company behind this plan in New Brighton, said it was very different to HMO proposals which have been blasted recently.

It lies far enough away from the nearest HMO to satisfy the council that it would not contribute towards an over-concentration of multiple occupancy homes in the area.

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The proposed home would also be much larger than many of the HMOs in the borough which have attracted opposition and all rooms will be en-suite and in excess of the minimum size requirements. A large garden is also part of the premises.

In the building’s former use as a guest home, it could have had up to 28 people inside at any one time including staff. This suggests using it as an HMO will not leave residents cramped for space.

The developers said they are aware of the negative reputation of HMOs in the borough and will put “considerable investment” into the standard of accommodation, the sourcing of tenants and the management of the building.

LSF Estates’ planning statement noted that rising rents, a lack of investment in the private rented sector and the increasing cost of houses have created a shortage of good quality accommodation for many working people.

The company was adamant that this plan is part of addressing that problem which exists both locally and nationally.

In terms of parking provision, the front driveway is only sufficient for one car.

It is suggested that residents can park on Albion Street, as there are always spaces available on the road.

But the developer said most residents will not be car owners and that the site lies very close to New Brighton railway station and bus routes connecting the town to Liverpool and the rest of Wirral.

In the developer’s view one on-site parking space, plus another three along the frontage of the building on Albion Street will be more than sufficient.

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Cycle storage is also provided at the site, where up to 12 bikes can be stored in an existing outbuilding in the rear garden.

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