Southport BID welcomes refusal of HMO planning application on Bath Street

Southport BID, along with Southport Hoteliers association, submitted a formal objection to a planning application to convert a guesthouse on Bath Street into a House in multiple occupation (HMO) which has been refused by Sefton Council planning department.

Southport BID is the representative voice for Southport Town Centre’s business community with over 950 members and levy paying businesses. Around 10% of our membership is made up of accommodation providers such as hotels, guest houses & B&Bs.  The formal objection was made by the BID in order to represent the interests, concerns and views of those members who objected strongly to more HMOs appearing on their streets.

As a visitor town, the tourist economy is worth almost 500 million pounds a year to Southport’s local economy, with over 6,300 people employed in the industry; the BID objected to the application on the grounds that the loss of B&B bed space would cause considerable damage to this economy.  Concerns were also raised that the rise in HMOs in the area would be detrimental to the visitor experience and lead to a decline in the appearance of the street, leaving visitors with a poor impression of Southport.

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BID CEO Hugh Evans adds “We are extremely pleased that on this occasion the planning application has been refused.  As the voice and representative of the businesses we must, and will, make the concerns and objections of our members known.  There is a great deal of concern about the rise in HMOs in the area, and we share these concerns.  We now hope we can begin to set a precedent for future applications. The BID will now continue to press hard for the adoption of special planning measures, approaches and regulations.  Change in policy at this level is not something that will happen quickly, but it is crucial we fight hard to preserve the character of this key area, and of the town centre as a whole, and to take all measures possible to protect our bed space and the visitor economy”


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