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'If I wanted to live on campus I'd have gone to university' - second bid to expand student house knocked back

Primula Avenue in Norwich. Photo: Google

Primula Avenue in Norwich. Photo: Google

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A bid to grow a six-bedroom student house to eight bedrooms has been refused - just three months after a vision to make it even bigger was knocked back.

Norwich City Council had received an application to add an extra two bedrooms to the house of multiple occupation (HMO) on the corner of Primula Drive and Salter Avenue in the west of Norwich.

The property, which papers say has been an HMO since 2007, would not have been expanded, with the additional bedrooms instead housed in the main building and a garage turned into a kitchen and living space.

But last week the council rejected the bid, saying it would have led to a “harmful intensification of the use of a small family dwelling”.

MORE: HMO bids for homes just two doors apart poised for contrasting outcomes

It came just three months after another application to turn the same property into a 10-bedroom student house was rejected in December last year.

For the latest bid, the council received seven letters in response - six objecting and raising concerns over increased noise and disturbance, parking problems and the risk of setting a precedent in the area.

One letter was written in support.

One person who objected said it was a “ridiculously oversized development in such a quiet, family-orientated estate”.

Another said: “The thing is, if I had wanted to live on a campus I would have gone to university, all I require now is to live the rest of my life out in the residential area I have lived in for nearly 40 years.”

But one post written in support of the application said the appearance of the property would remain the same, and “visually in keeping with any residential street”.

MORE: ‘It’s like being on Prince of Wales Road’ - calls for Norwich university students to respect communities

“The property is a six-bed HMO and has been for 11 years, only two more bedrooms are being created and within the existing footprint,” it said.

When she recommended that councillors reject the bid, officer Charlotte Hounsell said: “Given that there would be eight otherwise unrelated occupants, it is considered that the number of comings and goings would be increased compared with a family dwelling, including those by private car and taxi, as will the number of separate social events, delivery of meals and other purchases and people visiting for other reasons.”

She said it risked “a significant impact as a result of increased noise and disturbance”.

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