Shared Houses Bring More Planning Complaints To Brighton & Hove City Council


Brighton and Hove City Council has seen a huge rise in planning complaints with more than 800 planning complaints being received over the past year, up to the end of March. Apparently, there’s one key thing to blame, and that’s shared housing.

An increase in shared housing in Brighton has seen planning complaints rise significantly recently.

To put that into perspective, in the previous year the council received 576 complaints compared to the current 820. While 820 complaints were received, 604 were closed compared to 432 the year before.

Principal planning enforcement officer, Robin Hodgetts has said: “Both of these figures represent a significant increase on previous years and is attributed to the significant increase in reports of unauthorised HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) in the city.”

According to Hodgetts, despite the high volume of cases, a good level of customer satisfaction was achieved. Hodgetts also added that in 52% of cases closed there was no breach of planning control.

After presenting his information at Hove Town Hall, Hodgetts was thanked by Councillor Julie Cattell for his and his team’s hard work, as well as being praised by Councillor Michael Inkpin-Leissner, whose representation encompasses Coldean – an area where HMOs have increased significantly.



  1. I know you will think to yourselves – not another complaint, but I feel that we have to make ourselves heard. I life at 28 Coldean Lane, BN1 9GD and number 27 Coldean Lane is a HMO. The owner of this property a year ago, put in a dormer in the room, changing the occupancy from 5 to 7 occupants. Last year there must have been at least 11 occupants in this dwelling – girlfriends and boyfriends of the 5 original occupants. The owner did not get planning permission for the dormer in the room and was advised that this dormer would have to be removed. I have heard that they are appealing the decision to remove this dormer. If this dormer is reinstated then it will then become a 7 bedroomed house which, will then enable, with the boyfriends and girlfriends of the original 7 to become a 14 person occupancy………………. I seriously object to this dormer and ask that this is removed as soon as possible. My husband and I, elderly mother and disabled child have had enough of the abusive language, noise, filth, dirt and horrendous noise which we have suffered for many many years. We had thought about moving but have been told that with a HMO next door we are unlikely to sell and if we did we would need to dramatically reduce the selling price. We have the HMO next to us and also number 25 Coldean Lane is a HMO. I have been told that there should be over 50 metres between HMO houses and this is definitely not the case. How much more studentville is Brighton going to get. The old Co-op on the London Road is now changed for student accommodation, they have built 2 blocks of flats at the gyratory Lewes Road for student accommodation and have heard that they are now building flats opposite BQ on the Lewes Road. The Halls of residence on Coldean Lane has been dramatically extended and also the Halls of Residence next to the Falmer station that also has a huge facilities for the student accommodation. I have been told by a Ward of Coldean that at least 77o\o of houses and flats in Coldean Village are now HMO’s. When is enough enough…….. Our quality of life is diminishing and DEPRESSION for all of us is a fact of life. Would anyone on the Council want to live in our house?????? I would appreciate a response to this.


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