Chronic parking problems should not be a consideration when deciding whether to allow the creation of another HMO Houses in Multiple Occupation in Dundee, a senior councillor has said.
West End councillors had attempted unsuccessfully to block the conversion of a four-bedroom home in the city’s Thomson Street.
They claimed the area was already clogged with vehicles, day and night, and would be detrimentally affected by the creation of another HMO.
For many years, residents in the West End have complained about the increase in HMOs, which many blame for noise nuisance and congested streets.
Stewart Hunter, however, was among those who spoke in favour of the latest development as it was voted through by 15 to seven.
The applicant, John Kerr, will still have to go before the council’s licensing committee in order to secure an HMO licence.
Mr Hunter said: “I totally understand residents’ concerns about parking but whether this is an HMO or not, it is a four-bedroom property that could have four cars, even as a family home.
“That it will be an HMO makes no difference.”
The applicant had told the committee that they were aware of concerns over noise nuisance and were very keen to retain good relationships with neighbours.
Mr Kerr promised to carefully manage the property and said he hoped young professionals rather than students would become tenants.
Opposition to the bid had come from West End councillor Fraser Macpherson, who objected to the creation of another HMO on the grounds that it would place unreasonable parking demands upon an already heavily congested street.
He said: “The proposed HMO will generate a parking demand beyond that which the existing property can provide.
“The proposal will increase the number of vehicles parking on street in an area that is heavily congested and will be detrimental to road and pedestrian safety.”
He was supported by ward colleague Richard McCreadie, who said: “I am not opposed to HMOs as they can be a good thing, given the rules and regulations they bring.
“My concern with this property is car parking as Thomson Street is a relatively narrow street and it is full of cars at all times of the day and night.
“We need a balance in the West End between HMOs, short term occupancies and people who live there for the long term and bring up families here.”