Posted: Tue 27th Feb 2024

Merthyr Tydfil Town Centre Office to HMO Conversion Raises Concerns

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

Offices could be turned into an HMO in Merthyr Tydfil town centre but there are some concerns about the plan.
An application for 1 Church Street is looking for a change of use from offices to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) for up to six people.
The HMO would include six bedrooms with shared kitchen, living room, showers rooms and toilet as well as a cycle store.
The submitted plans show that the basement and attic rooms would remain locked and inaccessible to residents but there would be some outer changes to the building.
The application relates to an empty, end of terraced property within the settlement boundary, within the town centre boundary and Thomastown
conservation area.
It is also in close proximity to a number of listed structures with a road to the front and a gated lane to the rear.
Councillor Andrew Barry has requested that the application be reported to committee to consider the points raised within the objections received.
Two letters of objection were received following the public consultation which said there were already HMOs in the area and other forms of social housing, for example flats and houses.
They said there was an existing drug problem in the area and that there had been problems with tenants from in existing housing association properties in the local area.
They said the site was located in a conservation area which was in decline because of existing problems e.g. in relation to drug use, and there was concern about the impact on property values as well.
The objectors said parking in designated areas for those with resident permits was already at full capacity and that the property was in close proximity to a dance school for children who “may be put at risk”.
But planning officers are recommending approval saying it was not considered that the introduction of an additional small scale HMO such as this would lead to an over-concentration of HMOs, causing such significant harm to the character of the area as to warrant the refusal of planning permission
They also said it was not considered that the lack of parking would give rise to significant highway safety concern, adding that it was in a highly sustainable location close to local services and facilities where the use of more sustainable modes of transport could be encouraged.
It was not considered that the proposal would be
significantly different to the existing use, according to the officers, with no additional overlooking from first floor windows and any noise and disturbance would not be significantly greater than a potential office use and would be similar to that expected from a three or four-bedroom house.
Officers said that the responsibility for dealing with anti-social behaviour
is shared between a number of agencies, particularly the police, local authorities through public health and protection and social landlords
They said: “Whilst it is recognised that there are other HMO properties in the area, it is not considered that their numbers are excessive or in such a high concentration that they are resulting in a breakdown of the character or community of this area.
“Similarly, whilst there may be an existing problem with crime and anti-social behaviour, this cannot be attributed solely to the existing HMOs and is likely to be a combination of a number of complex factors.
“In addition, South Wales Police have not raised any concerns with respect to the approval of a HMO at this property or highlighted any issues with crime levels in its vicinity.
“Whilst it is acknowledged that a high concentration of HMO developments can have a negative impact on crime levels in an area as a result of their transient nature, the management of the property as a HMO is not a matter that can be controlled by the planning process and would normally be
an issue for either environmental health or the police to address, particularly where it involves anti-social behaviour.”
They said that, on balance, it was not considered that the approval of the HMO would result in a significantly harmful impact or justify the refusal of the application on for these reasons
They said should any such issues happen in the future, this would be a matter for the appropriate body to address any anti-social problems. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales



More from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Bar in Merthyr Tydfil Seeks Extended Hours and Alcohol Sales License

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Merthyr Tydfil Council “Still Confident” in Resolving Future of Leisure Services

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre’s Swimming Pool is Ready – Opening Date Still Pending

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Merthyr Tydfil Music Venue Ordered to Stop Live Music at 8pm

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Merthyr Tydfil Council to Potentially Transition 40 More Vehicles to Electric with £400,000 Funding

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Merthyr Tydfil Revealed to Need 114 Extra Affordable Homes Per Year Until 2027

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Latest from News.Wales

Hundreds of households in the Vale of Glamorgan did not receive their council tax bills in the post this year

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Planners Expected to Reject Retrospective Application for Alpaca-Filled Wedding Venue Tipi

Pembrokeshire Council

Conservative Candidate Claire George Wins St Ishmaels County Councillor Seat

Pembrokeshire Council

Councillor “gagged” from informing residents of £1.7m children’s home spend

Monmouthshire Council

Shropshire Council to Open UK’s Largest Biochar Plant in Powys

Powys Council

Assurances Given by Powys County Council Chiefs Following Troubling Audit Wales Report

Powys Council