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New HMO plans in central Newport rejected for second time

Street view of 1 Albert Terrace in Newport (Pic: Google)

A MAN has had his plans for a new HMO in central Newport rejected for the second time.

Council officers have refused planning permission to convert 1 Albert Terrace into a seven-bedroom house in multiple occupation.

They said the proposal would mean a “significant intensification and overdevelopment of the property”, which was formerly the Engineers Arms pub and is currently a two-bedroom house.

The HMO would “alter the character” of the home and “adversely impact upon neighbouring properties”, the council planners added in their report.

HMOs are typically homes for separate, single adults who have private bedrooms and share other facilities, such as kitchens, living areas and – in some cases – bathrooms.

Eight neighbours objected to the application, citing the concentration of HMOs in the area, impacts on anti-social behaviour and crime, and parking pressures.

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Stow Hill ward councillor Miqdad Al-Nuaimi raised concerns about the plans for the Albert Terrace HMO, saying residents were “correct” to worry about a lack of parking spaces, and the conversion of the property would be an “over-intense development of this house”.

Cllr Al-Nuaimi also said there was already a “high concentration” of HMOs in the area.

The council’s decision to refuse planning permission marks the second time applicant Ali Alzahid has had his HMO proposals for the property turned down.

In June 2023, an original application for an eight-bedroom HMO was rejected because of concerns about its design and a rear extension, as well as parking.

This second HMO bid reduced the number of future occupants and included a smaller extension, but planners said the revised proposal was still “unacceptable” and would provide “a poor quality of amenity for future occupiers”.

Planning permission was also refused because the proposal would have a “significant adverse impact” upon highway safety and residential amenity, the council officers added.

However, planners rejected claims there were already too many HMOs in the area.

Like many other local authorities, Newport City Council places limits on the numbers of such properties in a neighbourhood “to retain a sense of community”.

In the case of Albert Terrace, the council said that even if the HMO application had been granted, the rate of HMO properties within a 50-metre radius would still be below the 15% threshold in its planning regulations.