Plans for an 18-bed student HMO above the Royal British Legion club in Jesmond were rejected after backlash
Plans to build student housing above a Royal British Legion club in Jesmond were rejected after complaints it would leave the HMO area inundated.
The club, located on West Jesmond Avenue, had hoped to convert its first floor into eight student rooms and build an extension to accommodate 10 more.
But the plans sparked a backlash from residents, with 82 objections filed against the massive multiple-occupancy house (HMO) project.
Opponents claimed that Jesmond already had a “crushing burden of students” and that families were driven away by the noise, garbage and the resulting anti-social behavior.
Newcastle City Council has now said no to the development, refusing to grant a building permit after agreeing there was an “over-concentration of shared housing in an area where this has been identified as problematic”.
Civic center planners also raised concerns about noise, with the proximity of the proposed student rooms to noisy metro lines and the redeveloped club building being “too towering and too tall.”
According to plans, the social club would have been kept on the ground floor and it was claimed that the development would offer an ‘attractive proposition’ for students that could free up more traditional Jesmond homes for other residents.
The planning request submitted on behalf of the Royal British Legion added: âThe proposals retain an existing economic center in the region. The jobs at the social club will be kept. The relationship between the ground floor social club and student accommodation has been carefully designed to ensure that there are no undue impacts.
But North Jesmond’s three councilors have all opposed the plans, as have dozens of neighbors.
An opponent of the proposals told the council: âThere is currently an overwhelming burden of students and HMO residences in the area pushing back families due to the noise pollution and physical waste associated with these accommodations.
“I am concerned that a large building of this nature will make the current problem even worse and while I am sympathetic that the Legion has struggled in particular throughout Covid, I do not think more student accommodation be the answer. “
Another opponent added: âJesmond clearly currently has an abundance of HMOs causing a whole host of problems for the local community.
âASB in progress, rubbish, broken glass, dilapidated properties. Adding more HMOs will only exacerbate this situation.
âAs a resident, I am seeking to leave the area due to these issues and the fact that the HMO proliferation has not been taken seriously by the council for many years.
“If the council is serious about restoring Jesmond to a nice residential area, a ‘more HMO’ position should be a prerequisite.”