Five-Star Airbnb allowed to remain despite neighbour objections

A five-star Airbnb has been allowed to stay on the market despite neighbours’ objections.

A former garage at Cherry Cottage on Wexford Road in Noctorum has been running as a holiday let since August 5 2022 after councillors approved it for a year. It is rated five stars on Airbnb based on four reviews.

The property was highly praised in its reviews being described as “lovely, secure and peaceful” as well as “spotless, spacious, and an absolute pleasure to stay in.”

In order to keep this as an Airbnb, an application was put in by James O’Loughlin to extend this permission but this had faced opposition from two neighbours.

However, Wirral Council’s planning committee approved the application on 21 July saying any changes to previous conditions would be a step too far arguing a request for a higher barrier to offer more privacy for neighbours would create “an almost Hadrian’s Wall of a fence.”

The holiday let currently has up to 18 bookings for 2023. Despite the concerns of some neighbours at Laguna House, a housing block backing onto the Airbnb, there were no complaints from Highways and Environmental Health. No formal complaints have also been made.

Councillors from different political parties said it was a no-brainer to approve the application arguing the council could be “going into dangerous territory if we start changing conditions that have been in place for a year where nobody has formally objected.”

Members of the committee also pointed to the lengths of the gardens backing onto the Airbnb saying they struggled to see how noise would be a problem in this case.

Cllr Kathy Hodson said, “On the face of it it doesn’t look like an Airbnb,” adding: “Like most neighbours, if you do not like what you can see you can always put your own hedge up so my advice to Laguna is if you do not like it, put your own hedge up.”

Cllr Steve Foulkes agreed saying the issues raised were probably an over-exaggeration of the problem. He said, “Effectively we would be asking the applicant to construct an almost Hadrian’s Wall of a fence because it’s a blooming long hedge.”

He also pointed to the ongoing Open Championship in Hoylake arguing Airbnbs did have a benefit in helping bring tourism into the Wirral.

However, Cllr Jason Walsh said there could potentially be problems with holiday lets, adding, “Not everybody who goes to stay in an Airbnb does so to put their head down, to go to a wedding. They can go there. They can be noisy, they can be disrespectful to the area.”

Oxton councillor Allan Brame had brought the application to the committee due to concerns raised. He said, “It does have a significant impact on neighbouring properties,” adding: “It’s easy to see through the hedge and this makes them (neighbours) uncomfortable about using their garden because of the loss of privacy.”

Councillors also approved a new eight-bed rental property on Carlton Road in Birkenhead.


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