HMO won at appeal

With a refused planning application for change of use of a dwelling, we were able to successfully appeal the initial decision.

HMO Won for Student Housing in Northampton

The Brief

Our client approached us after their planning application for the change of use of a dwelling to a House in Multiple Occupation was refused planning permission by Northampton Borough Council. The application site was positioned close to the University of Northampton Waterside Campus and on a road that consisted of several properties that had been converted into accommodation for students.

Although the Planning Officer had written the proposal up for approval, the scheme went before Planning Committee, where Councillors refused the application. Despite no objections from the Local Highway Authority, the application was refused for reasons associated with a lack of parking and highways safety.

We were therefore instructed to prepare, submit and manage the appeal process.

Our Solution

To demonstrate that the proposed development was in fact sustainable and would not cause any issues in terms of parking and highway safety, we undertook a comprehensive analysis of the scheme. By highlighting the distances to services and facilities, we were able to show that the future occupiers would not need to rely on cars. Rather, they were within close proximity and easy walking distance to various shops, services and indeed, the University Campus.

Furthermore, in assessing the impact on highway safety, we identified various appeals that were allowed in Northampton for other student accommodation applications. Importantly, we found that there were several appeals for student accommodation that had been approved, despite no off-road parking provided. We used the Inspector’s arguments within these appeal decisions to help support our case and to prove that the Local Planning Authority were incorrect in their decision making.

Our arguments showed that there were not any other material considerations which suggest that this proposed scheme would be unacceptable. The comprehensive Statement of Case set out all our arguments, clearly showing the Inspector that the scheme was acceptable against local and national planning policy and therefore, should be allowed.


Project Success

The Inspector agreed with all our arguments set out within the Statement of Case and allowed the appeal. The house has now been converted into student accommodation.

Client: Private

LPA: Northampton Borough Council


Ben Kelly
Senior Planner

t: +44 (0)1722 638 008
Email Ben


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For more information on any of our services please call us on 01722 638 008 or email

For more information on any of our services please call us on 01722 638 008 or email