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Plans to convert former priest house into HMO resubmitted to Flintshire Council 

An application was submitted in March to transform a property on Brunswick Road in Buckley (Pic: Flintshire Council)

PLANS to create a seven-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO) next to a former church in Buckley have been resubmitted.

Last year Flintshire Council’s planning committee rejected the proposals for the former Priest House on Brunswick Road in the town, due to concerns about amenity space and parking.

A fresh design and access statement submitted with the new application by EDGE Architects NW Ltd on behalf of EMW Developments, says these concerns have now been addressed.

This application proposes three off-street parking spaces and bicycle storage.

It states: “The Presby (or Priest House) lies to the east of the Roman Catholic Church which is currently undergoing a renovation to form two dwellings, and to the west of the former scout hut, a site also to be redeveloped to form two dwellings.

“The proposal would be to convert the property to provide seven bedrooms to accommodate a house in multiple occupation (HMO). The property is located facing the main road and is surrounded by residential properties of varying design and house types.

“The intensified nature of the use facilitated by the proposal would integrate seamlessly into the immediate street-scene as the two immediate buildings, the church and scout hut are to be redeveloped to form four residencies thus reducing the footfall.”

It adds: “The loss of the church and community building have been previously approved.

“We do not propose to change the appearance of the property is any way therefore scale and size remain. The variety of house types and appearance of dwelling houses in the wider area depict a character of modern post-war development laid out in a suburban street pattern.”

The design and access statement also addresses some of the general concerns around HMOs.

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It states: “The consensus of HMO’s are that they bring problems in terms of living conditions.

“There are separate regulatory controls outside the ambit of planning considerations that tackle persistent noise nuisance or disturbance and anti-social behaviours.

“Concerns that tenants could cause these problems are not unique to HMOs, they equally could apply to other forms of residential occupation, and behaviours of this type are factors related to the particular occupants of the property and not the use.

“Planning controls are concerned with the use of land rather than the identity of the user therefore this should not be a planning consideration. The proposal would require a licence from the council since it intends to operate as a large HMO.

“The licencing regime can restrict and limit the number of occupants if the property is not suitable and can check whether the applicant has suitable control of the house and that management arrangements are in place.”

A decision will be made on the application by Flintshire Council planners at a future date.