Posted: Sat 6th Apr 2024

Approval Recommended for HMO Conversion Despite Community Concerns /

PLANS to turn a family home in Shotton into a house of multiple occupation (HMO) have been recommended for approval despite concerns it will harm the community.
An application was put forward in March last year to convert the three-bedroom property on Salisbury Street in the town into a four-bedroom HMO.
The proposals are now due to be considered by Flintshire Council’s planning committee at a meeting being held next week.
A senior official has advised that councillors should back the scheme subject to a condition limiting the number of people who can live at the property to five, instead of the originally proposed amount of six.
However, community leaders and local residents have voiced strong objections due to concerns it will change the character of the area, with several similar developments already existing on the same street.
It’s also been claimed that the plans would add to current parking issues on the road.
Writing in response to the proposals, local councillor Sean Bibby said: “There are currently eight properties which have either been subdivided into flats or are HMOs, and I believe more properties of this nature would constitute gross overdevelopment of Salisbury Street.
“Many family properties are now sandwiched between HMOs or multiple flat conversions.
“I believe the town centre can no longer take more development without strain and pressure on services, waste collection and parking.
“There is great concern that such developments are rapidly changing the character of the community.
“Family homes and houses suitable for local young families and those looking for affordable housing are being lost to property developers, many of whom are living outside the county.”
A total of 20 letters have been received from neighbours opposing the scheme ahead of the meeting, while members of Shotton Town Council have also unanimously objected.
However, the local authority’s chief planning officer has recommended the proposals should be approved.
In a report, Andrew Farrow said the change of use of the property was in keeping with the council’s policies.
He said: “The application proposes to continue the use of a dwelling that is located within a highly sustainable settlement for residential purposes which is acceptable in principle.
“There are no external changes proposed to the building, its physical appearance remaining unchanged within the street scene and comparable with that which currently exists.
“The objections raised regarding the proliferation of flats and HMOs within Salisbury Street and the cumulative impact of this on the character within the street scene and living conditions are noted.
“As Salisbury Street comprises a total of 54 properties, it is not considered that its inherent character will be unduly impacted.”
He added: “The current proposal seeks to convert a three-bed property into a 4 bed HMO with no off-road parking facilities being provided.
“Notwithstanding the above, the site is in a highly sustainable location and the applicant has confirmed all occupants will be vetted to ensure they do not own a private vehicle.”
A decision will be made on the application by the committee at its next meeting on Wednesday (April 10, 2024). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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