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Newport HMO plans go to planning committee

PLANS for a house of multiple occupancy (HMO), which have previously been refused, are set to go to Newport’s planning committee next week.

A three-bedroom house at 1 Collier Street could be turned into a HMO, which is accommodation run by a private landlord, with bedrooms rented out to unrelated tenants who share facilities.

If approved, this property would be managed by Newport-based Dubhlinn Property.

No internal or external changes are proposed to the house in the St Julians ward. The property currently has a bedroom, living room and kitchen on the ground floor, in addition to three bedrooms on the first floor.

The planning application seeks only to change the use from a four-bedroom home to a four-bedroom HMO.

The conversion would require four parking spaces. In September 2022, Dubhlinn Property’s previous planning application for the site was rejected due to a lack of off-street parking.

Since then, an on-street parking survey was conducted, which according to the council’s highways department shows there is “adequate” parking on neighbouring streets.

Additionally, planning officers are requesting that cycle storage is added to the plans.

Six residents objected to the plans, in addition to two St Julians councillors – Carmel Townsend and Paul Bright.

In her comment, Cllr Townsend, said: “Of all the applications submitted for HMO conversion, this one has to be the most egregious in terms of unsuitability.

“The location is wrong, the house is small; parking is at a premium; the likelihood of anti-social behaviour is increased, ditto, problems with rubbish and recycling.

“This is a family house and should remain so. Feelings are running high among residents. It’s time their views were taken into account.”

The council’s assessment of the application states that it falls within the threshold of the number of HMOs in one area. If approved, the number of HMOs in a 50 metre radius would be two.

Planning committee will discuss the application at its meeting on Wednesday, January 11.

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