A struggling hotel owner has been given the green light to transform the building into an eight-bed HMO.
The controversial planning request resurfaced at the Solihull council planning meeting on Wednesday evening after being postponed until a management plan is submitted.
Ranjit Singh, the owner of Ravenhurst Guest House in Solihull, previously said his business “would struggle to survive” in its current form following the Covid pandemic.
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He argued that the variation from a seven-bed guesthouse to an eight-bed HMO was “very minimal” and added, “The type of people accommodated in the property will be of good nature.”
The Lode Lane Hotel is attached to Milden Hall House, a care home in St Basil for homeless youth and those leaving care with support needs.
Echoing the issues raised at the October meeting, local resident Louise McCabe said: âThere are still real issues of safeguarding.
âAt the last meeting the committee asked to see a plan showing how the property would be managed.
“The documents presented show nothing to relay the safeguard concerns about the vulnerable young adults living nearby.”
She added: “There will be no one on hand to represent the owner.”
Additional documents outline the checks that would be carried out on potential tenants – who would be sought out by a rental agent – as well as information on cleaning, inspections and rental contracts.
Concerns had already been raised by members that the HMO could accommodate people “in difficulty” who would need assistance on site.
Councilor Maggie Allen said, âI was also interested in potential tenants, who will be sought out through a reputable rental agent. They will ensure that all necessary checks are made on potential tenants to ensure that we find the best tenants for the property.
“I don’t know what else anyone can do to verify what kind of tenants are going to take this.”
Cllr Steve Caudwell added: “I think we have come to the conclusion of this October meeting that in fact in its current incarnation there is less control over who lives in this property as a hotel than who would inhabit it as an HMO. “
Committee members voted seven in favor, one against in favor of the officers’ recommendations to approve the plans.
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