Reports of ‘illegal lockdown party’ at city center flats are now seeking planning permission
There have been reports of an ‘illegal lockdown party’ at a set of city center flats which may now receive full planning permission.
Plans have been submitted to Liverpool City Council, which could see three flats for short-term rental at Number 7 Sweeting Street in the city center with retrospective planning permission.
According to planning documents, the proposed site was converted into residential accommodation, creating three two-bed apartments without planning permission – but this was approved retrospectively, including specific conditions.
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But these conditions were not respected and the apartments were used without the benefit of a building permit, as serviced apartments.
The applicant, listed in the planning documents as Luke Braithwaite, received a letter from the council’s planning enforcement team on August 18, 2020 advising that planning permission was required and that the use had to cease.
A new application has now been submitted which seeks to retain the use of the building as three short term rental apartments.
The move was challenged by Town Center Councilor Nick Small, who pointed to complaints made about apartments during one of the Covid-19 lockdowns.
In Cllr Small’s representations, he says: ‘It should be noted that there have been a significant number of complaints about this property, including a large illegal party being held on August 6-7 in breach of the lockdown.’
He added that he believed the planning permission, if granted, “would harm the city center housing market, putting out of use the residential flats needed to meet Liverpool’s housing demand in as residences to be used as short-term rentals”.
Cllr Small said that if the plans are approved, conditions would have to be put in place to prevent the flats being let out as “party flats or for bachelor and bachelorette parties”.
He said this could be achieved by putting in place a maximum number of guests allowed to stay at any one time.
Despite these objections and the history of the site, planning officers are recommending that the latest application be approved when presented to the planning committee on Tuesday.
The report states: “It is recognized that local residents and ward councilors have raised objection to the use of this property for serviced apartments, having originally been approved (retrospectively) for residential use. However, it is necessary to base the planning assessment of the proposal on the provisions of the development plan and any other material considerations.”
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