Plan to turn Coventry student block into 25-bed HMO

The Annex on Gordon Street, Coventry
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)

Plans have been lodged to turn Coventry student accommodation into a 25-bed HMO. The scheme would see 'The Annex' on Gordon Street change use.

Instead of students, the former office block would house professionals and operate as shared accommodation. But this involves removing a condition dating back to 1998, plans say.

The restriction states that only students can live in the block due to a lack of parking and amenity space making it "unsuitable" for general housing. However, papers raise questions about the rule.


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Papers state the application would question whether the condition is valid. It pointed out that current policies "would not regard students as justifying an apparently lower standard of accommodation."

If the building is suitable for students it should also be suitable for other residents, the statement adds. It claims living standards will improve as the building will get bin and cycle storage, and stresses that it is close to the city centre and green space.

The statement admits that the local area has a high number of houses of multiple occuptation (HMOs.) But it claims the student accommodation is not a 'dwellinghouse' so a new policy cracking down on HMOs should not apply.

The report also claims it is "appropriate" to have less parking on the site than the number of spaces the council's maximum parking standards calls for. Future residents are "unlikely" to choose to have a car as the site is close to local facilities and in a "highly sustainable location," it adds.

Plans can be viewed on Coventry council's planning portal under reference: PL/2024/0001167/FUL. The city council has yet to make a decision.

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