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Enforcement: Change of use to hotel granted for private guests only

Words: Laura Edgar
Hotel room / iStock-165688698

An inspector has quashed Salford City Council’s decision to refuse a retrospective planning application for the change of use of a drinking establishment (A4) to a hotel (C1), provided the hotel is for private guests only.

The council refused the retrospective application and issued an enforcement notice because it was concerned that the use of the Weaste Hotel as a hotel was a main “Town Centre” use but was located “out of centre”.

Additionally, the enforcement notice was issued because although the hotel was open for bookings from the general public, local housing authorities referred the majority of the occupiers, as they required emergency accommodation.

The council had received representations while considering the planning application that use in this way had “caused considerable problems for local residents”. The police supported these representations.

Following refusal and receiving the enforcement notice, the appellant allowed only private guests to stay at the hotel, and installed CCTV at the front of the hotel. The police also gave evidence at the hearing on the crime figures for the hotel, which they attended 15 times over 63 weeks.

Inspector Tim Belcher considered the police attending incidents and crimes at the Weaste Hotel to have “some limited impact” on residents who live in the area. However, “the incidents have mainly involved crimes/incidents against the Weaste Hotel or its manager and very few incidents have involved private paying guests causing problems for local residents”. However, he did acknowledge the council’s concerns for the local residents.

Belcher considers that the use of the hotel for private guests only to have reduced the level of antisocial behaviour and crimes near the hotel, in comparison with when referrals were made by local housing authorities.

“Antisocial behaviour is not intimately connected with the use of the Weaste Hotel as a hotel by private paying guests,” he wrote in his decision. In general, hotel uses do generate incidents and crimes but occur inside the building and “do not generally impact on surrounding areas”.

The planning system, he added, “cannot provide a mechanism for controlling the management of the guests who stay at the Weaste Hotel”.

Therefore, the inspector granted retrospective planning permission and quashed the enforcement notice.

The inspector’s report – case reference 3165237 and 3162516 – can be read for free here.