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Residents complain plush Cannock house has been used as 'brothel' and 'party venue'

Residents have said that a home let out for short stays and holidays was being used as a brothel and weekend party venue.

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Hatherton Road, Cannock

The Hatherton Road property in Cannock, which was marketed on a number of websites as a five-bedroom house offering space for up to nine people, did not have planning permission from Cannock Chase Council to operate as short-term or holiday accommodation.

A retrospective change of use application was submitted to the authority after complaints were received about the property. The council received nine objections to the change of use proposals from residents who said there had been antisocial behaviour including drug use, loud noise from 6am, swearing and parties at weekends.

One said: “Since the unauthorised change we have experienced a large number of industrial vehicles parked outside the property and spilling over opposite into Sherbrook Road for overnight parking. They cause unacceptable noise very early in the morning and again on their return in the evening.

“On many weekends during the summer months there has been a disturbing amount of noise due to the amount of people staying for weekend parties. Swearing, shouting and foul language by clients in the back garden made it necessary for us to bring our visiting grandchildren indoors out of earshot.

“The property has also been used for immoral purposes. It was necessary for the police to be called.

“Distressed dogs barked for hours while their owners have not been there. Neighbours are worried and concerned as to what happens next – understandably this causes stress and anxiety affecting mental health.”

Another resident said: “The house was used as a brothel, cars every hour or two, day and night. This is a residential area housing retired people in the main, who have enjoyed peace and quiet.”

An email from a Designing Out Crime Officer at Staffordshire Police to the council said: “There was only one incident of the property being used as a popup brothel. Once the police were alerted to the problem, they spoke to the two ladies, who left straight away.”

The applicant, in a supporting statement, said measures had been taken to improve the situation for neighbours however. They said: “Whilst I was disappointed to hear that there have been a few incidents recently, we are a responsible business and have responded as soon as I was made aware.

“We employ a management company to manage this property for us on a day-to-day basis. They are actively pursuing repeat business from reliable streams of companies working in the area.

“We have asked them to re-enforce the vetting process to include providing personal details (name, mobile, email, ID and selfie), as well as verification of these details. I have fitted the house with a Ring doorbell and spoke to the new cleaner who is taking on the garden maintenance as well to ensure that there is a positive image being portrayed for the wider environment.

“We are looking to source a noise level monitor, as well as providing our management contact details to immediate neighbours so they can deal with any events as they happen. Hopefully this will reassure the neighbours as it is important to me that they feel supported and are happy that their concerns have been dealt with and confident that they are able to be heard in the future.”

The supporting statement also highlighted the benefits to the local economy of serviced accommodation in the district. It said this accommodation could attract tourists and business travellers, bringing more revenue to other local services such as shops and restaurants.

But a report to Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday said: “The proposal will not contribute positively to the visitor economy and will cause significant adverse impacts to existing residential amenities.” Planning officers recommended the application for refusal.

Committee members rejected the change of use proposal at Wednesday’s meeting. Councillor Val Jones said: “I don’t think residents should have to put up with that sort of behaviour.”