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Council taking action against party houses

Borough of Poole is looking to take legal action to prevent party house activities at three properties in Poole.

Acting on complaints from local residents about noise and anti-social behaviour, the council has carried out investigations into six residential properties in Poole. 

There are a number of ways the council can consider taking action against party houses and the council has looked into the use of planning legislation as one of these options.

To date, the investigation by planning officers has concluded that:

* there is sufficient evidence to take enforcement action under current planning laws on the grounds of a material change of use at one property;
* further investigation is required to decide whether enforcement action can be taken in relation to a material change of use at second property;
* with four of the six properties, there is insufficient evidence to take enforcement action under current planning laws.

During the investigation process, three of these properties were sold.

The council is separately pursuing court proceedings as part of a noise abatement notice served against one of the six properties.

Cllr Mike White, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regeneration, Borough of Poole, said: "We have tremendous sympathy for those residents whose lives have been affected by activities of these party houses. We are looking at all possible avenues to address this issue but it is a complex legal matter and there is no one piece of legislation that will provide a swift solution.

"New anti-social behaviour legislation is due to become law in October, and we will be reviewing this to see how it can help us address the problem of noise disturbance and anti-social behaviour associated with party houses."
 
As part of the investigation, detailed written statements were obtained from all residents who complained to the council from 2011 to 2014 of noise disturbance. The council also circulated a neighbourhood character survey to 160 homes in the surrounding areas where these properties are located. This information has been used to help establish whether a material change of use has occurred at these specific properties, which would require planning approval or some form of enforcement action.