More than two years after joining PPP, and Liam Gallagher is no stranger to planning applications. He's resolved car parking issues in his third 12-bedroom HMO (House in Multiple Occupation), which is now being tenanted, and recently won a planning appeal on his fourth property.

"You may remember from a previous diary entry that we purchased our fourth property at auction over the phone, which had an application for a 9-bedroom HMO rejected just two days prior to auction.

It was a harsh rejection in our opinion and we felt that we could still make it work. With the support of the PPP planning team, we were confident that our new improved planning application would be approved, as we had carefully reviewed the rejected application and identified the gaps - particularly as a PPP HMO property.

The property itself is a 7-bedroom, 3-storey house which has been uninhabited for quite some time and is in a complete state. It was previously made up of 6 bedsits and a two-bedroom flat. So there is precedent on the site for it being an HMO.

Our application was for 7 en-suite bedrooms, two doubles sharing a communal bathroom and to build a conservatory at the rear to increase the communal space - even though the rejected application already exceeded Liverpool's minimum requirements.

We spoke to the planning officer, the same for both ours and the rejected vendor's application, and explained what we are about and what we/PPP do. Our application clearly emphasised the quality of refurbishment and accommodation offer, as well the type of tenants that would be living there. Whilst the planning officer's recommendation was for approval, our application ultimately was referred to committee and was refused.

Prior to the committee vote, a member of the planning committee raised concerns due to, in his opinion, the apparent confusion and inconsistencies on the council's planning policy on HMOs. In addition, he went on to reference three specific recent approved HMO applications, which, in his opinion, were not as good as ours. Finally, he put forward a motion to defer our application until a clear and consistent policy on HMOs was established. Unsurprisingly, the motion was denied and our refusal was confirmed. Despite our improved application, we received the exact same reason as the vendor's rejected application - over-development of the site.

Whilst we now understood that all the building work required could be done under permitted development, we did not have the planning approval to operate as a 9-bedroom HMO. We had done contingency planning and knew that we could initially operate, legally and financially, as a C4 HMO (over two floors) and so commenced the refurbishment and submitted our planning appeal.

The appeal process can take up to six months, but our appeal seemed to go quickly and after three months an inspector site visit was scheduled. This is typically an indication that the appeal decision is imminent and indeed our appeal was approved a couple of weeks later. We were also awarded partial costs, but thankfully we got the result we wanted.

The appeal process was another new learning for us which we were, once again, well supported and guided throughout by the PPP planning team.

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