Home » Councillors vote against Rhondda’s HMO plans
Politics Rhondda Cynon Taf South Wales

Councillors vote against Rhondda’s HMO plans

Gynor Place In Ynyshir (Pic: Google Maps)

COUNCILLORS have voted against plans for a five-bedroom HMO in the Rhondda after describing it as “retrograde” and “substandard.”

The application for the change of use of a property to a house in multiple occupancy (HMO) with five bedrooms and to demolish the old porch area at the rear of a property in Gynor Place, Ynyshir went before Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee on Thursday, April 11.

The committee voted against the application despite officers’ recommendations to approve it and so it will come back to a future committee for a final decision.

There were letters of objection from neighbours which raised issues such as nuisance or disturbance and the rear lane access to car driveways.

They said the proposal offered no car parking spaces which could add five or more cars to the street, which they said was unacceptable due to the fact on-street parking in this area is already difficult and the road fronting the property was extremely narrow.

There was concern with the proposed layout, the history of rodent infestations and the significant increase in waste produced in comparison to a traditional family household.

There were concerns the property owner did not live locally and therefore would not be readily available to deal with any situations as they arose.

They said it would exacerbate highway safety problems in the area and it was contrary to the requirements of Local Development Plan (LDP) policy, which required a high quality of affordable housing.

They also mentioned supplementary planning guidance on HMOs which set out that applications would be refused where living rooms or kitchens would be located directly adjacent to upstairs bedrooms of neighbouring houses.

They said as the application provided a ground-floor bedroom adjacent to the living room or kitchen of the neighbouring home, it would be logical to assume this would certainly not comply with the guidance.

online casinos UK

In recommending approval, planning officers said the proposal was in keeping with policies of the Rhondda Cynon Taf LDP and national policy in that, the proposed residential use would be compatible with the surrounding land uses and would not result in an adverse impact upon either the character of the site, the amenity of neighbouring occupiers or highway safety.

In the report they said “there is no evidence to suggest that the granting of this planning application would lead to an over-concentration of HMOs in the locality or would be directly harmful to the social cohesion of the neighbourhood.”

Public health and protection confirmed the layout met the required, separate licence standards and they had no objection to the proposed layout of the HMO and the level and size of the accommodation proposed within it.

But Councillor Sharon Rees, chair of the committee, said the development seemed to be “retrograde” and it is “unsuitable”, adding that some bedrooms are too small.

Councillor Ross Williams said they should never assume who is going in there and what those people are like but that it is “substandard” irrespective of who is going into it.

Councillor Gareth Hughes said he understood the concerns of residents but said the assumption that everybody who lives in an HMO is a villain and would make the lives of residents hell is unfair.

He said: “People need homes. People need quality homes. This is an overdevelopment.”

He said the plans were nothing more than the owner trying to maximise their return, saying it was”inadequate” and “poor quality” and would have a significant impact on parking.

Councillor Danny Grehan said nothing about the development was acceptable, adding it was “not an appropriate place for them [people] to live”.

He said it would affect the amenities of local residents such as parking and it would “affect everyone who lives in the community there”.

Councillor Wendy Lewis said it would lead to over-development and it was a case of the developer looking to get as much money as they can out of it.

Councillor Scott Emmanuel said trying to shoehorn five or six people in the house is a “no go” for him.