A County Durham MP and some of his constituents have furiously objected to plans for a 9-bedroom HMO (house of multiple occupation) in a coastal town.

42 Frederick Street in Seaham could be turned into an HMO pending consideration by Durham County Council, which received an application for the plans in early February.

Details listed on the council’s planning portal reveal that the home would have 9 single-occupancy bedrooms created by an extension as well as a garage conversion.

The Northern Echo: Frederick Street, Seaham.Frederick Street, Seaham. (Image: GOOGLE MAPS)

A document in the application reads: “On entering the property from the principal elevation, the hall provides access to a bedroom, shower room, lounge/diner and stairs to the upper floors.

“The lounge/diner provides access to the rear kitchen, which leads to a utility room/hall and another bedroom in the former garage.

“The first-floor landing provides access to four more bedrooms, two shower rooms and stairs to the second floor.

“The second floor provides access to three more bedrooms and two shower rooms.”

However, whilst the application is pending consideration, multiple residents as well as Easington MP Grahame Morris have submitted their objections.

In a letter submitted to the application, Mr Morris wrote: “HMOs are a necessary feature in housing markets without sufficient supply and overwhelming demand. These circumstances do not exist in East Durham.

“The purpose of this application isn’t to provide decent affordable housing but to maximise profits and income for a developer.”

He added: “If approved, Durham County Council will be providing a green light to speculative developers to exploit our community and impose unsustainable housing in areas where there is no demand and desire for such accommodation.

“I urge the planning committee to refuse this planning application.”

A spokesperson for Seaham Town Council also lodged their objections, stating that the 6.51m sq bedroom measurements are “surely below the legal threshold”.

They added: “The effect is severe, as it removes any prospect of being able to own a bit of your community, it demoralises people and could well result in lower employment - after all what's the point, you will never own your own home and you are working to simply pay the bills and rent.

“The introduction of any and all HMOs in the Seaham area presents a clear and present risk to the wellbeing and financial certainty of the area.

“If unemployment increases for the reasons above the Council will not only be subject to reduced income but also to paying out money 'known as a Council tax reduction' to people who are not working - further hurting the Budget in upcoming months and years.”

Valerie Griffiths, a neighbouring resident, also voiced her objections.

She said: “Taking away an affordable home for family, increasing already full places in doctors, dentists and schools, we don't know who will be living here.

“There is not enough parking for residents as it is now. We already have bins left in the street with rubbish blowing everywhere.

“School children pass the property to go to and from the library and could be intimated if a large number of males are in the street.”

Fellow resident Michael Harrison also submitted his objections. He said: “As a resident of Frederick Street I object and am very concerned that an area that has recently had criminal activity reduced is now put at risk in an already deprived area.


Get more content including the stories that matter to your community from The Northern Echo for just £2 for 2 months for a limited time only here.

“Generally, there are a couple of transitions per street per year and normally families. This plan is to have 3 years' worth of new people (possibly single) in one street at the same time.

“If these individuals are claiming benefits they will be looking to make money and therefore at risk of being recruited by criminals or OCG.

“Parking is inadequate if all occupants have cars and this plan will also break the community and social fabric in the area.”