TWO HMO’s proposed for the Bridgend area have been given the green light to go ahead this week at the council’s monthly planning meeting, following requests for a change of use at the properties.
Both sites, which were formerly used as residential dwellings in the town will now become HMO’s, otherwise known as House in Multiple Occupation, following lengthy debates at the meeting held on September 7.
The applications also came before the authority after intense scrutiny from members of the public, who had objected to the approval of the plans in recent months.
The first property, located at 33 Heol y Nant Cefn Glas Bridgend, was brought forward for retrospective approval, after the homeless charity Emmaus south Wales moved in residents in October of 2022.
The plans say they would allow for a maximum of 4 persons at the property with communal shared facilities and garden space, with no alterations externally or internally required for the change of use.
However, members in attendance heard opposition to these plans, with neighbours on the residential street reporting what they described as a series of issues that included an increase in anti-social behaviour, drinking of alcohol on nearby benches, and use of foul language with police being called on various occasions for violent behaviour and drug use.
There were also complaints over unreasonable levels of noise, substance misuse, rowdy behaviour and audible foul language from both inside and outside the property, which led some councillors to suggest the location wasn’t suitable for such a building- with the plans even objected to by Bridgend Town Council.
Officers in attendance responded to the concerns, saying the proposals were sound in terms of planning and were not excessive for a small HMO, advising that councillors on the planning committee could only control things that were within the planning remit.
It was later suggested that issues such as anti-social behaviour, noise, and management at the site would likely need to be referred to other bodies such as the council’s licensing committee, who would have the power to revoke the HMO’S licence if deemed necessary.
The plans were eventually passed, alongside a second HMO that was proposed to be set up for six occupants on Park Street Bridgend.
These proposals also requested a change of use from a former residential dwelling to a HMO, for a three storey mid terrace property at 61 Park street.
While the plans were passed unanimously, it was outlined that seven letters of objection were received from residents of Parkfield Road and Park Street, citing concerns over a lack of parking, and fears that the area would be oversubscribed with HMO’s as there are already several others in the street.