Posted: Sat 24th Feb 2024

Opposition to Plans for Conversion of House into HMO in Merthyr Tydfil

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Feb 24th, 2024

There’s opposition to plans to turn a four-bedroom house into a six-bedroom HMO in part of Merthyr Tydfil.
An application for the house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Overton Street, Dowlais is due to be considered by the council’s planning committee on Wednesday, February 28.
There were nine public objections which said that the proposal would change the fabric of this small street and be detrimental to its character which is mainly made up of families with young children, causing an adverse long-term effect on nearby residents.
They said that the street is already heavily congested and the parking situation is extremely difficult. Whist there is a car park across the road from the property, this fills up very quickly and the creation of a HMO property would only exacerbate this issue, especially if its occupants are professionals and all own a vehicle.
They said the provision of a HMO would result in disruptions and other nuisances and deteriorate the existing quiet and safe street it currently is and that the proposal is likely to result in an increase in anti-social behaviour,. There are also concerns over who would deal with such issues.
The objections said that the proposed use would increase the risk of fire at the property, which could have devastating consequences for its occupiers and surrounding residents and that the street already has a high level of anti-social .behaviour, particularly near the archway access, which provides a pedestrian route from Overton Street to Alma Street.
Other objections included the personal safety for existing residentsl that the development may have an impact on the mental wellbeing of existing residents and concerns about the type of people that may occupy the property that would be unsuitable for a street of families with young children.
But planning officers are recommending the application be approved.
They said that given that the property lies within the settlement boundary and the proposal seeks to continue to provide a residential use (albeit of a different nature), it would be acceptable provided it complies with other relevant policies.
They said this proposal, in terms of visual impact, would not have an adverse
impact on the appearance of the property or the character of the wider area.
Officers said they appreciate that properties occupied by non-family households have the potential to change the character of an area but it cannot be argued that the proposed HMO along Overton Street would lead to an over-concentration of HMOs resulting in significant harm, which would justify the refusal of the application on this basis
They said it is not considered that the proposed six-bedroom HMO would be significantly different to the existing use, as a four-bedroom residential dwelling and whilst there is some potential for additional noise and disturbance resulting from the proposal, which may have an impact upon the amenities currently enjoyed by surrounding residents, this would not be considered significantly harmful to warrant the refusal of the application.
They said that responsibility over issues such as noise, anti-social behaviour and crime would be shared between a number of authorities including the police, the council through public health and protection and the landlord.
Officers said that no additional overlooking would result from first-floor windows since no new windows/openings would be created.
On parking and highway safety, officers said that despite the increase in the number of bedrooms, the parking requirements for the HMO would not differ to that of the existing dwelling and that he application site is located in a street which benefits from unrestricted on-street parking and in very close proximity to a large public car park, shops, services and public transport so it is not considered that the lack of parking would give rise to significant highway safety concerns.
They said that a dwelling can normally accommodate up to six persons
living together as a single household without the need for planning permission so the impact of the proposed development upon highway and pedestrian safety would not warrant the refusal of the application
They also said: “It has been highlighted that this proposal may cause some distress and anxiety amongst surrounding residents, particularly in response to potential occupiers of the HMO.
“This would not be a matter that can be controlled through the planning process. Consideration has been given to the impact of the proposal on the amenities of surrounding residents, and as the property would continue to be used for residential purposes, the proposal would not be considered significantly different to the existing use that may otherwise be detrimental to nearby occupiers.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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