Updated with decision
PLANS for a children’s home in Aberdare have been refused by councillors because of a lack of outdoor space and inadequate parking.
Proposals for a change of use from an HMO to a children’s home on Elizabeth Street went back before Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, September 7 to consider the strengths and weaknesses of refusing the application after the committee voted that they were minded to refuse it at a meeting in August.
Officers had recommended approval but the committee considered that the property lacked outdoor amenity space for future occupiers and lacked car parking provision and voted to confirm their refusal at the September 7 meeting.
The original planning report said the property would accommodate a maximum number of two children and two carers.
Staff would work 48 hour shifts and children placed at the home would stay on a long-term basis likely to be more than 18 months and the process of accepting children to the home would be via referrals from social services.
It added that the applicant has confirmed that the conversion would not result in any external changes with minimal internal changes needed.
The proposed care home would contain a living room, kitchen and utility room at the ground floor, with two bedrooms, a bathroom and toilet on the first floor, with two further bedrooms and a living room on the second floor.
Reasons for refusal
Local councillors Steven Bradwick and Victoria Dunn objected to the application as they do not consider that this is a suitable location for a children’s care home facility.
The report for the September 7 meeting recommended these reasons if councillors are still minded to refuse it.
- The proposal would result in a lack of outdoor amenity space for future occupiers of the children’s home. As such, the application would be contrary to Policy AW5 of the Local Development Plan.
- The proposal would lack adequate car parking provision for the proposed use. Consequently, the creation of demand for on-street parking in the vicinity of the site would be harmful to highway safety, the free flow of traffic and the amenity of neighbouring occupiers. As such, the application would be contrary to Policy AW5 of the Local Development Plan.
The planning officers’ assessment
In the planning assessment, the highways department judged that the development would have the same parking requirements as what would be required of a normal residential property at the site and they mentioned that the application site’s last use as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) requires two additional car parking spaces compared to the proposed use of the site.
But councillors considered that there would be rotating staff attending the site along with the associated vehicle activity and consider that the proposal lacks adequate car parking provision for the proposed use.
The assessment said that some outdoor amenity space is provided to the rear of the application site but councillors considered that children deserve and should expect sufficient levels of outdoor amenity space and consider that the application site lacks outdoor amenity space for future occupiers of the children’s home.
The planning assessment says that Policy AW5 of the Local Development Plan (LDP) lists criteria that require all proposals contribute towards creating quality places.