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Fears of crime lead to shelving of HMO plans

Plans to turn a "small" family home in Sunderland into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) have been withdrawn over a fear of crime.

Dozens of objections were lodged with Sunderland City Council over proposals to convert the property on Cuba Street into a HMO.

Following opposition from police and local residents, the plans were shelved by developers.

A council decision report said C&F Property Solutions Ltd had withdrawn its application for planning permission after being told it was likely to be refused.

Crime concerns

The company lodged its plans for 8 Cuba Street in 2023, seeking permission to create a five-bedroom HMO across two floors with two bathrooms, a kitchen and dining area.

During the consultation process, Northumbria Police lodged an objection suggesting that the "small family home" was not suitable accommodation for four adults living independently of each other.

The letter of objection added: "Northumbria Police recognise that HMOs serve a purpose in the housing market.

"But our experience has shown that they also generate a disproportionate level of crime and disorder concerns."

Across 27 formal objections, issues were raised around inappropriate bedroom sizes, anti-social behaviour, noise and increased traffic in the area.

In a joint statement, Hendon ward councillors Lynda Scanlan and Michael Mordey also registered their opposition to the plans.

They said the development would alter the character of the street, adding that a lack of space could lead to "all occupants [being] forced to stay within their bedrooms".

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