BID objects to HMO application on Bath Street

Southport BID has submitted a formal objection to a planning application to convert a guesthouse on Bath Street into a House in multiple occupation (HMO).

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 has been made by the BID in order to represent the interests, concerns and views of those members, and of the Southport Hoteliers Association, all of whom object 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. There has been a worrying trend over the past few years of investors buying up traditional guest houses and b&bs to split into low cost flats or bedsits – also known as houses of multiple occupation. This brings with it many issues; HMOs are often poorly maintained and can really impact on the local area, especially on streets such as Bath street which has a high concentration of well managed and attractive places to stay. The continued loss of traditional accommodation is also a serious issue for maintaining Southport as a place that can attract major conferences and events. It goes against the needs of the town

ots-southport bid andrew sloman 1 ots news _0Photo: Andrew Sloman

Southport BID Manager, Andrew Sloman explains “The conversion of hotels to houses of multiple occupation with poor standards of management has had a detrimental impact on the experience of visitors and guests to hotels and businesses in the area. This threatens their repeat custom and viability as businesses and may have a negative impact on the overall visitor experience and reputation of the town”

Andrew also explains that the loss of viable commercial accommodation is to the serious detriment of the long term economic and business needs of Southport. “Southport’s economy is reliant on visitors in the leisure, business and conference markets; the loss of hotel beds threatens the future viability of these markets. Bath Street alone has lost over 200 beds in recent years”

Hugh Southport BID Photo: BID CEO Hugh Evans

BID CEO Hugh Evans adds “The proposition to have a HMO on Bath Street is inappropriate and out-of-keeping with the street. If it were approved it would set a precedent that would be difficult to challenge if further applications were submitted in the future. As the voice and representative of the businesses we must and will make the concerns and objections of other businesses known”


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