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Buckley HMO plans recommended to go ahead

Plans showing how a former electrical supplies store on Mold Road, Buckley could be turned into an HMO (Pic: Google)

PLANS to turn a former shop and offices in Buckley into a 12-bed house of multiple occupation (HMO) have been recommended to go ahead.

It comes despite concerns being raised that the redevelopment of the property on Mold Road would lead to problems with parking, traffic and anti-social behaviour.

A planning application was put forward in relation to the former electrical supplies store in the town centre in September last year.

Applicant Salvatore Molica-Franco originally requested permission to convert the building into a 14-bed HMO, but the figure was later reduced to 12.

The proposals have now been backed for approval by a senior official from Flintshire Council ahead of a meeting this week.

It comes despite objections from local councillors Dan Rose and Carolyn Preece over the scale of the development.

Eight letters of objection have also been submitted by residents, with one claiming the character of community would be “negatively impacted” by the scheme.

However, the local authority’s chief planning officer said the property had been empty for a long time and was suitable to be used for residential purposes.

In a report, Andrew Farrow said: “The re-use in part and extension of the existing former retail/office building, which is currently vacant and has been for some time, is considered to be reflective of the guidance offered in planning policies.

“(These) seek to direct new residential development proposals to defined settlements where there is a range of services to support such development.

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“Objections have been raised with regard to the perceived proliferation of flats and HMOs within the immediate area and the cumulative impact of the proposal upon the character of the street, together with concerns relating to overdevelopment within the street scene.

“Whilst it is noted that there are council flats in the area, the proposal would not lead to two HMOs being located side by side, nor would an existing residential property being sandwiched between the two HMOs.

“As Mold Road comprises of mix of commercial, retail and residential uses, it is not considered that its inherent character will be unduly impacted.”

Concerns raised by objectors include the lack of an outside area for residents to enjoy and the absence of parking spaces.

Opponents also expressed worries about noise, the strain on local services and that conditions could be cramped for people living in the HMO.

The chief officer said issues surrounding outdoor space and parking could be addressed by the presence of facilities nearby, while regulations would ensure that sound insulation is in place and rooms are of an adequate size.

Meanwhile, claims have been made that the applicant does not own the site, but Mr Farrow said these had not been supported by evidence.

He said: “The information provided as part of the application in relation to land ownership is taken on trust as part of the planning application determination process unless it is clearly demonstrated to the contrary. No information has been provided to demonstrate the allegation.

“Notwithstanding this, the determination of a planning application would not override other requirements in terms of land ownership and this issue is therefore not prejudicial to the determination of the application.”

The application will be considered by members of the council’s planning committee on Wednesday (June 19, 2024).