Application submitted to turn 'bed bug' hotel in Harlesden into HMO

'Unsafe, unclean' Hollingbury Hotel could turn into a house of multiple occupation for private rents

'Unsafe, unclean' Hollingbury Hotel could turn into a house of multiple occupation for private rents - Credit: Charissa Cheong

A hotel in Harlesden with a 1.5 star Tripadvisor rating has been proposed as a site for a new 14-person House for Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Brent council received the planning application from owner of Hollingbury Hotel, in Craven Park,  on September 29.

The hotel has many negative Tripadvisor reviews, with 56 out of 89 visitors rating their stay as "terrible".

Tripadvisor reviews for Harlesden's Hollingbury Hotel mentions stained sheets, showering with cold water, and seeing bed bugs

Tripadvisor reviews for the Hollingbury Hotel in Harlesden mention stained sheets, showering with cold water, and seeing bugs or bed bugs - Credit: Charissa Cheong

One reviewer said in September: “If I could rate this place 0 I would. I was staying here for two nights. I did not end up staying for the second night.”

“I would not call this place a hotel. It was worse than any hostel I have ever stayed in. Did not feel clean or safe there.”

Several visitors reported sleeping on stained sheets, showering with cold water, and seeing bugs or bed bugs in the hotel.

The planning proposals list “Covid” and “Brexit” as reasons for the conversion, with reduced numbers of tourists and Europeans seeking accommodation.

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The plans include provisions for 14 single bedrooms with at least one window, two communal kitchens, a shared bathroom and two shared shower rooms.

Room sizes in floor plans for the HMO range from 7.2 to 23 square metres.

According to HMO licensing guidelines, a single bedroom must be at least 6.51 sqm.

The proposals also mention a “generous” outdoor area with furniture, lights, potted plants and bike storage space, as well as a single storey rear extension.

Hollingbury hotel was already receiving negative reviews when it came under new administration in May 2017.

One visitor wrote in September 2016: “We basically camped in the room. Keeping one eye open as the size of the mouse trap in the wardrobe had me worried.”

A spokesperson from 4D planning, the owner's agent, said: “The hotel has not been the most successful, but the HMO proposals will provide affordable accommodation with very generous room sizes.

“The hotel industry has suffered due to Covid, but this proposal is the best outcome.”

The spokesperson said he had no knowledge of bad reviews, and that the hotel’s owner did not wish to comment since the application has not yet been approved.

A spokesperson for Brent Council said that they are in the early stages of considering this application.

They added: “Residents are invited to share their views on the application with us by  October 25 2021."

Visit Brent Council's website and use application code 21/3680

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