HMO request for former Broadstairs care home to be discussed by councillors

The Luton Road property (Image Savills)

A retrospective application to change the use of a former 55+ assisted living home to a House of Multiple Occupation for 16 people will be discussed by Thanet councillors next week.

The property at  6 – 6A Luton Avenue in Broadstairs had originally been earmarked to provide accommodation for 17 people but an application in 2021 was refused by Thanet council and dismissed at  planning appeal.

The refusal was due to concerns of increased demand for parking, the number of residents and restricted parking area.

The Planning Inspectorate appeal noted the likelihood of increased noise and disturbance created by 17 individual residents compared to a care home. Parking pressures and a proposed new parking area at the back of the property would result in “vehicle movements along the drive and manoeuvring within the car park would take place excessively close to both No 8 and its and garden. The result would be an unacceptable increase in noise and disturbance to the residents of No 8.”

A previous application in 2021 for the erection of a three storey building containing up to 10 units following demolition of existing buildings was also refused due to the location, height, scale and footprint of the plans. This proposal was also dismissed at appeal.

Now a further application has been lodged by applicant Mr S Mayhew for an amended HMO plan,

Changes are:

Reduction in the number of beds from 17 to 16.

Removal of all off-site parking, including parking area to the rear.

Side door now fire door – restricted entry/exit Provision of landscaping at front and rear

No external alterations to the building are proposed, although internal alterations will be required to remove partition walls.


The council has received 89 representations with 23 in support and 66 objections. These raise concerns over traffic and parking, pollution, noise, that the HMO is currently operating without planning permission and overdevelopment.

Support said improvements had been made to the property, economic benefits, inclusive living spaces and the view that there is ample parking available.

Broadstairs Town Council recommends refusal saying past concerns have not been addressed. Kent Highways raise no objection now parking arrangements have been changed and Thanet housing noted the property is licensed as a HMO already.

The application has been called in to the planning committee by Broadstairs councillor and mayor Kristian Bright due to concerns the development is out of keeping with the area.


The planning officer notes: “The existing property has eighteen bedrooms, eight on the ground floor and ten on the first floor. This application proposes to alter one bedroom and storage area at ground floor to a dining room and kitchen, as such there would be seven beds at ground floor. At second floor level, two bedrooms will be knocked through into one creating nine bedrooms on this floor.”

Communal lounges are on the ground floor and both of these rooms have adjacent kitchens. One further kitchen is on the first floor. All bedrooms have an ensuite.

They add: “Given that there are no external changes, the decrease in number of proposed residents compared to the previous use and previous application, removal of the rear car parking area, it is considered, that the development would have no significant impact upon the character and appearance of the area.”

Recommending approval, the case officer says: “Currently there is a need for housing in Thanet and the Thanet Local Plan identifies that HMOs can provide a cheap source of rental accommodation. “However the benefits of providing this accommodation must be weighed against the harm to parking amenity in the area and the living conditions of the neighbouring property occupiers (previous reasons for refusal).

“Residents have raised significant concerns about the capacity of Luton Avenue and the surrounding road for additional parking and the proposed use is of a significant scale. Due to the Inspectors concerns at the most recent appeal, the car parking to the rear of the site has been removed, this means that parking for the development would rely on street parking. Parking surveys have been submitted with the application and these have been carried out at various different times, this found that there was capacity to accommodate parking for the development within the street.

“On balance, the reasons raised by the previous refusal and concerns from the Planning Inspector have been sufficiently overcome. It is therefore recommended that Members approve the application subject to safeguarding conditions.”

The former Abbeyfield property was bought at auction in 2020 for £610,000.

Councillors will discuss the application at a meeting on August 16.


  1. One former bedroom to be converted to a dining room and kitchen for 16 residents? That too should be considered with this application. as it seems completely unreasonable. How are these people supposed to live normal and decent lives under such conditions? I have no objection to studio accommodation for single people as lived in one myself for several years, but this seems far from that.

    • I missed this bit, sharing a kitchen with all of these people will be a nightmare. Everyone has different standards and make sure you get a fridge that has a lock on it…

      • There is a maximum of 4 to a kitchen here and some rooms also have kitchenettes.

        If you look at other HMOs they only have 1 kitchen for far more people.

    • I lived in a bedsit that had a baby belling oven, fridge and sink in it with a shared bathroom, I was very happy there for many years. It would not take much to plumb a kitchen sink in and provide a means for cooking. Sharing a kitchen with all of these families is ridiculous.

    • This property has 4 kitchens in total 3 lounge/dining areas. Some of the rooms also have kitchenettes.
      All bedrooms are en-suite with another bathroom should an issue arise with anyone of them.

    • Looking at the planning drawings there are 4 kitchens, 2 large communal areas, large bedrooms with shower and toilet. Occupants include nurses, doctors, teachers amongst other professional people. Not exactly the usual HMO… Seems that building is ran by according to neighborhood consultation letters?

    • Absolutely not!..
      Please do your home work before commenting on things you clearly know nothing about.

  2. Outrageous that he is already operating it as an HMO when that application was refused. This development is disgusting and appalling for the local residents –

    • This building has had an HMO licence for two years. Please do your homework before commenting.
      Have you seen this building it is beautiful and certainly as asset to that road. It is far better maintained than a lot of properties in that road.

  3. Having experienced the attitude of this man and his company, my sincerest sympathies go to the residents of Luton Avenue.

  4. I am sure the applicant is not concerned about cheap provision of housing just profit.
    What is required is social housing in one or two bedroom dwelling formats.HMOs are not the solution they are the problem.
    What the highways, planning officers and Cllrs need to ask themselves is; would I be prepared to live in this HMO?
    If the answer is no,then refuse the application.
    Perhaps a better use would be conversion to sheltered housing for rather fewer residents.
    I bet the EPC is a real eye opener and may be that should be assessed.
    East Kent has enough badly maintained HMOs which are accidents waiting to happen.

    • George, I can assure you you can not be more wrong.
      This property is housing local Drs, nurses, immigration staff and more.
      Have you seen the property? been inside – I doubt it.
      All of these people that you have mentioned above have either seen or been given the opportunity to visit and their answer is clearly YES.
      What do you know about EPC’s? would you like to see it? happy to show you.
      Does this HMO look badly maintained to you? if so I suggest you look again and by all means come an take a look around before commenting further to that your comments are correct.

  5. I stand to be corrected, but are HMO’s not licenced in Thanet? If so has a licence been granted for the property? If not why is action not being taken for operating an HMO illegally? If it is operating illegally have the residents been informed of their rights in respect of rent repayment orders?
    This situation really doesn’t add up.

      • Isn’t that for when it was a care home as the application for an HMO there was refused a couple of years ago? How is a retrospective application legal?! Surely it’s an offence to be operating?

    • Yes they are licensed in Thanet and the building has had one since it was opened.

      It is not operating illegally.

      Read the article and you will see it has a license would have saved you the trouble of commenting.

  6. Gee whizz, a reduction of 1 bedroom!! And there is not room for 16 extra people to park on the road in Luton Avenue – ludicrous!

    • Broadstairs Lover haha!

      Kent highways says there is.

      If this HMO was closed and the residents, who are drs, nurses and home office staff were made to find another town to live then all the money they spend in the shops restaurants and public transport in Broadstairs would be lost. Im sure the local economy would notice the huge difference! Broadstairs Lover? I dont think so.

  7. Has no one read the application? there is an HMO licence, this permisison was granted in April 2022 for 17 people. They are now going for planning permission. We need more rented homes in Thanet. I have seen the rooms on their and they are all of good size & have ensuites. Shared kitchens are fine when only a couple of people share each one, they have 4 kitchens.

  8. I am local and in my 30’s I have struggled to rent for years as everything is just too high when living alone in a 1 or 2 bedroom flat. HMO’s allow me to live in nice living conditions at affordable prices. We have a major housing crisis so let this happen so us live somewhere. Living in a shared home gives me a community and I have made many friends.

  9. Every type of rented housing is needed, houses, flats & HMO’s so everyone who needs a home have the choice!

  10. I lived in this HMO last year, I work at QEQM along with some other friends who live here still. I now live in Thanet with my family. I found the landlord to be very professional. The building is well maintained, everything is managed well & everything is thought about. Weekly cleaner, in house maintenance man Ray! I found sharing nice as we often cooked for each other. We had ample space in the 4 kitchens & were all assigned a kitchen to use. The rooms are brand new, clean & homely. Not everyone is in a posision in life to rent a whole flat or house. Professional Companies likes are helping us! They employ local resisidents to clean & maintain.

  11. Why turn down any improvement for more rental homes in Thanet? we are living in a crisis! so many homeless and with more mortage rates being so high more people will become homeless. Our area needs any help to improve this crisis now. TDC local housing authority gave them a HMO licence for 17 people so why not approve the planning permission. A HMO licence grants permission to use & all areas have been approved. In order to get a HMO licence there is strict critera they check & the owner must follow. This is a professional company bringing jobs to everyone locally & homes for people to live in.

  12. Plenty of parking in the
    Is road with all the large detached houses, people just presume everyone has cars whats expensive in this day and age.

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