THERE are plans to turn a B&B into an 11 room HMO in Treforest but concerns have been raised by local councillors.
The application from D2 PropCo Limited for the house in multiple occupation at Central Guest House in Stow Hill is due to go back before Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s planning committee on Thursday, January 11.
It went before the committee back in November but was deferred to request that the developer reduce the number of bedrooms at the proposed HMO and to seek greater clarity on the refuse/ bin storage facilities.
Members considered that the creation of an 11-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) at the site was an over-intensification of use with sub-standard accommodation provided and they also wanted clarification on the proposals for facilities for refuse/ bin storage facilities at the site.
There were no letters received from neighbours about the application but local councillor Steve Powderhill raised concerns with the application and has stated his concerns with houses in multiple occupation (HMO) properties.
He mentioned that the guest house has six letting rooms and that the proposed 11 bed HMO would double the occupancy with concerns raised with regards to the number of occupants at the site.
He also said that he understood the need for this type of accommodation, however objected to the number of occupants proposed.
Pontypridd Town Council also objected to the application because it considers that the area has issues with traffic and parking and that parking is currently inadequate.
It said that the proposal would exacerbate the issue for residents and businesses and would negatively impact the quality of local residents’ amenities.
The town council also considers that the proposal would potentially cause mental distress, contrary to creating a ‘Healthier Wales’ and contrary to the ‘Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015’.
The town council added that there is a surplus of student accommodation available in the immediate area and as such, they consider that local residents and their families are being forced to move from the community, which would not be deemed satisfactory to the sustainability of the community.
But Planning officers are recommending it be approved and in their assessment of the application they said that the site is situated within the settlement boundary limits of Treforest in a predominantly residential area.
They added: “It is considered that houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have a key role to play in meeting housing need within the social rented sector and the proposal would assist in providing additional accommodation within this sector.
“However, it is also acknowledged that multiple occupation of a house can involve the intensification of its residential use and that this intensification of occupation could result in increased levels of activity in and around the house, which can have negative impacts on occupants, their neighbours, and the local community.
“Notwithstanding, the application site is in a predominantly residential area and in a sustainable location with good access to public transport and key services and facilities which is considered acceptable.
“Furthermore, the application complies with relevant policies of the council’s houses in multiple occupation (HMO) supplementary planning guidance (SPG).
“The site also relates to an existing building and the proposal would be residential in nature, which is considered acceptable at this location.
“The proposal would not involve substantial external alterations and would not be considered to impact upon the character and appearance of the application property or upon the amenity and privacy of surrounding properties, nor would it have any adverse impact upon highway safety in the vicinity of the site.”
In their report, officers said that the developer confirmed that a minimum of 11 bedrooms was needed at the site to make the development viable and that the developer thinks there would be sufficient space provided for future occupants of the HMO and that they consider the development would comply with the Rhondda Cynon Taf HMO landlord guide.
Under the Wales wide mandatory licensing scheme, HMOs that are three storeys or more and occupied by five or more people living in two or more households need to be licensed.
Also, from April 2019, all HMOs in the borough are required to be licensed under the additional licensing (Houses in Multiple Occupation) Scheme 2019 which means the proposed HMO will need a licence and would need to meet the required amenities and facilities standards.
On refuse and bin storage at the site, the planning report said that amended plans were provided by the developer on December 1 which showed an area dedicated for recycling storage and waste storage bins provided within the grounds of the property and sited adjacent to the entrance gates which open onto Stow Hill.
The report said: “Overall, it is considered that the proposal would assist in providing much needed additional accommodation within the social rented sector.
“The site is in a residential area and in a highly sustainable location. The property is considered of a sufficient scale and the development proposals would provide adequate space for people’s living needs.
“Additional plans also show that there would be dedicated are within the ground of the property for refuse storage facilities.
Consequently, the development is considered acceptable, and the application is recommended for approval.