Contact: Ms. Carolyn Donnelly, Democratic Services Officer
Apologies for inability to attend were reported from the Chairperson, Councillor Donnelly, and Councillors Howard, Hutchinson, M. Kelly and Smyth.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were reported.
The Committee considered the following report, which provided an update on the application and a copy of the report which had been deferred at the meeting of the Committee on 20th October:
“1.0 Purpose of Report or Summary of main Issues
1.1 To update Committee following its decision to defer consideration of the above application to allow time to consider representations which were received by the applicant’s solicitor on 20th October 2021.
1.2 As consideration of the application was deferred it was necessary apply for an extension of time within which to determine the application. This was because time within which the application was to be determined expired on 29th October 2021.
1.3 An application to extend time was made at Belfast Magistrates Court on 27th October 2021. The applicant objected to the application. However, that application was refused as the Council had previously been granted an extension of time and felt that the ample time had been provided to the Council to determine the application.
1.4 Given the issues involved in this application relate to fitness and overprovision it was considered necessary to convene a special meeting of the Licensing Committee to determine the application rather than simply allow a deemed licence to be issued.
2.1 Taking into account the information presented Committee is asked to hear from the Applicant and make a decision to either:
(i) Grant the application, with or without any special conditions; or
(ii) Refuse the application.
2.2 If the application is refused, the Applicants have a right of appeal to the County Court. Such an appeal must be lodged within 28 days of formal notification of the decision.
2.3 Objectors have no right of appeal but may be able to judicially review the Council’s decision
3.0 Main report
3.1 Members will recall that this application was before Committee on 20th October 2021. A copy of the Case Officer Report is attached at Appendix 1.
3.2 As appears from that report, this is a new application although the property has operated as a HMO previously under the old NIHE Registration Scheme and also has the benefit of a CLEUD which was granted last year (LA07/2020/1277/LDE).
3.3 The issue in short is that from information submitted in support of the application for a CLEUD, it would appear that the property was let as a HMO from 7th October 2018 (when the previous registration expired) until 31st March 2019, without registering it with NIHE as an HMO, in accordance with the Statutory Registration Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation in Northern Ireland.
3.4 Furthermore, the documentation submitted with the CLEUD application would appear to suggest that the property was let as an unlicensed HMO from the 1 April 2019 to the 31 August 2020 contrary to section 7(1) of the 2016 Act, which is an offence under the 2016 Act.
3.5 The Council were granted an order at Belfast Magistrates’ Court on 27th July 2021 to extend the time afforded ... view the full minutes text for item 3a