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Concerns raised over Rhondda HMO plans

Gordon Street In Ton Pentre (Pic: Google Maps)

CONCERNS have been raised about plans for an HMO in a Rhondda street.

Caroline Luker and her fellow residents have voiced their opposition to the plans for a five bedroom house in multiple occupation on Gordon Street in Ton Pentre.

A previous plan for a six bedroom HMO there was rejected with more than 55 objections sent in and officers turned it down saying “it would result in the creation of cramped and poor quality living accommodation for future occupiers.”

Caroline said there are a couple of elderly people living in the street and she said it’s “concerning” for them to think all of a sudden an ordinary house in a very quiet nice little street could become an HMO.

She said they are “concerned about the amount of people coming in one fell swoop.”

Caroline said there is also concern about the impact on parking and health and safety especially if there’s parking on junctions and there are also concerns about access for emergency vehicles.

Residents are also concerned about noise, the potential for anti-social behaviour and that community cohesion would no longer be there if the new residents come and go and are transient in nature.

She also pointed to the council’s supplementary planning guidance which she said says that HMOs are not appropriate in a typical Rhondda terraced street.

It says: “many smaller properties, and particularly in traditional terraced streets, will not be appropriate for subdivision.”

Caroline said it would “not be inkeeping with the street” and in terms of HMOs coming to the Rhondda she said “I think it’s going to start snowballing” adding that there are other new ones being planned in the area.

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She said local residents have leafleted houses, put information on social media and had a meeting about the issue and that there’s also concern for the people who will be living there given the type of accommodation.

She said: “Are they really suitable? We don’t think so. The owners have not reached out to the community. They’ve not tried to allay our fears.”

Caroline said she’s hoping that the council is going to adhere to its own supplementary planning guidance.

The agent for the application, RA Architects, said they have designed the HMO so that young people can live within a shared dwelling saving up for a mortgage or for a professional starting off who can afford these property types.

They said they do a fair amount of these here and in Cardiff and Newport and it’s always the same with co-living amongst studying persons, less well off youngsters or professionals.

They said there are probably numerous families in this area who have youngsters who may go to college locally or simply want to remain living in the local vicinity.

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