Posted: Fri 15th Sep 2023

Residential Property in Briton Ferry Granted HMO Status Despite Local Uproar /

A request to a change a residential property in Briton Ferry to a HMO has been given the go ahead at a council planning meeting this month, causing uproar in a local community.
The application that came for a property at 65, Cwrt Sart, Briton Ferry, to change its use from a three bedroom house to a House of Multiple Occupancy, was granted by members following discussions held on September 12.
In it they heard how developers planned to alter the interior of the three bedroom property, to include accommodation for a total of six residents – for two people based on the ground floor with a kitchen, dining area and bathroom, as well as four bedrooms on the first floor with an additional two bathrooms.
However, residents along with the local ward members said they strongly opposed the approval of the plans, due to ongoing issues with parking and highway safety faced by those on the terraced street.
One local who lives on Cwrt Sart described the issues of a “chronic shortage of residential parking,” that could be made worse with the arrival of six new residents at the property, each potentially bringing their own cars.
Resident Gareth John urged members to vote against the plans, citing anxieties and disputes the lack of parking had caused between neighbours in the past, as people struggled to park near their houses.
He said: “There is a chronic shortage of residential parking for us, with on-street parking only available on one side of the road. Parking is in such short supply some residents have on occasion taken to parking on the pavements on the opposite side of the road.”
Councillor Chris James of Briton Ferry east, called the report before the planning committee and added: “Because of the issues we’ve got here with parking in this area we’ve already had one application turned down approximately five years ago, so there’s a president set that HMO’s cant exist in this area.”
Along with further strains on parking, other issues in the representations made against the plans included concerns over potential noise and anti-social behaviour from the property, as well as the effect it could have on the “safe family orientated area.”
There were also discussions around the potential restriction of access for waste vehicles on the road, and a breakdown in social and community cohesion.
Officers however reccomended the proposals, and said that the plans for the HMO were in line with guidelines, adding that an upcoming review on parking procedures could address some of the issues on Cwrt Sart and the neighbouring streets.
Following the discussion, the decision was later taken to a vote of members who went in favour of the plans, passing them with six members voting for, two voting against, and two abstentions. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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