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New flat plan in Newport approved despite HMO concern

153 Caerleon Road in Newport (Credit: Google)

A NEWPORT man has won planning permission to build a new flat above an old shop despite a concern its design bears similarities to a HMO.

Councillors approved Talal Elmasuri’s application to turn the upstairs of 153 Caerleon Road into a three-bedroom flat.

The downstairs is currently vacant but was most recently a convenience store.

Members of Newport City Council’s planning committee heard on Wednesday January 10 that the plans were for “quite generous” rooms, and would require only a minor change to the ground floor of the property, including new doors being installed.

Some neighbours had complained about the application, but east area development manager Joanne Davidson told the committee the plans were acceptable in terms of parking spaces, and would not result in any right of access problems with nearby homes.

Committee member Mark Howells noted the plan’s apparent lack of a living room and suggested the application had “all the hallmarks of being a HMO (house in multiple occupation) without the obligation”.

Councils set limits on the numbers of HMOs that can exist in a certain area, and developers must submit a separate kind of planning application if they intend for a property to be used in that manner.

But Ms Davidson said officers had visited the property and she was “not concerned” it would be turned into a HMO.

Cllr Howells said the council’s licensing authority should “keep an eye on” the building’s future use.