Castles Guest House at 6 Windsor Road applied for a ‘legal development certificate’ in August 2020, which it said would allow it to continue providing emergency temporary accommodation.
Members of the board’s planning committee are now being asked if they would have approved the request at the time, to help WBC defend the appeal.
The applicant claimed that the premises had been used to provide emergency accommodation for “at least ten years” and that, therefore, the application should have been granted.
Records show that Castles Guest House has been used by Adur and Worthing Councils as well as Brighton and Hove City Council to provide emergency temporary accommodation in the past.
A report to the WBC planning committee says local authorities are “often forced” to place people at risk of homelessness in “any available accommodation” due to the national housing crisis. This could include hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Council officials say the application would likely have been denied due to doubts over using the property for temporary accommodation over the past decade.
They added that gaps in reservation records cast uncertainty on the number of rooms used for temporary accommodation.
Agents added: “Although ‘rentals’ have ranged from overnight to over two years, it is clear that the accommodation was not intended solely for short-term or long-term accommodation. night. “
It is understood that 6 Windsor Road is currently registered as a multiple occupancy house (HMO).
Sussex Police objected to the request last year, an objection the force still holds.
This is due to concerns over the lingering problems of antisocial behavior.
The force said “high levels of police presence” have been required at 6 Windsor Road, which “has an impact on police resources.”
In its objection, the force said: “The police are still regularly present due to issues related to anti-social behavior.
“If the legal development certificate for an existing use is granted, this request would place an ongoing additional burden on law enforcement resources. “
Thirty letters were also received from residents living nearby who claimed there had been anti-social behavior, lack of staff support for vulnerable people and overcrowding, among other issues.
Opponents noted that recent work had been done on the property to make it compliant as an HMO, which they say indicates that it may not have been used as such consistently over the course of the last decade.
The request (AWDM / 1270/20) will be discussed at a meeting of the WBC planning committee this evening (September 22).