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Ton Pentre HMO plans recommended for approval despite widespread opposition

Gordon Street In Ton Pentre (Pic: Google Maps)

PLANS for an HMO in a Rhondda street are being recommended for approval by officers despite widespread opposition.

The application is for a five-bedroom house in multiple occupancy (HMO) on Gordon Street in Ton Pentre.

The conversion would include a number of internal alterations only with no external works to the property required or proposed other than the demolition of a small porch at the rear.

The resulting house in multiple occupation (HMO) would have one bedroom, a kitchen, dining/living room, full bathroom, and entrance hallway at ground floor level and and four bedrooms and a toilet at first floor level.

The garden area to the rear of the property would be kept for use as an amenity space.

No off-street parking provision is proposed and primary access would be gained off Gordon Street to the front.

The application is a resubmission following the refusal of an earlier application for a similar development that proposed the conversion of the property to a six-bedroom HMO.

That application was refused as it was considered that the proposed number of bedrooms would place significant pressure on the plot representing an over-intensive use of the property and overdevelopment of the site.

One bedroom has been removed in an attempt to overcome the earlier concerns.

There have been 62 letters of objection in relation to this from local residents, both local councillors, and the Senedd Member for South Wales Central, Andrew RT Davies, as well as a separate petition which includes 58 separate signatures.

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The objections raise concerns over the safety of the community, impact upon property value, the lack of parking exacerbating existing parking issues, that it will have a detrimental effect on the immediate neighbourhood and on the amenity of neighbours living there thus changing the street’s character completely, and that it will result in excessive noise and disturbance.

They also mentioned that there are no proposals to provide adequate refuse storage space for the occupants and that there is an issue with rats, that there is no need to provide this type of accommodation in Gordon Street, potential anti-social behaviour, lack of community cohesion due to the temporary nature of HMOs, and that additional vehicles will compound existing issues with traffic around Ton Pentre.

The objectors also mentioned environmental and safety standards and said it would add pressure to existing services in the area, cause a loss of daylight and privacy for neighbours. They also drew attention to the lack of cycle storage and said there were more appropriate buildings in the area for HMOs and raised concern that bedroom spaces and communal areas were wholly inadequate for potential tenants.

Other points raised included that Ton Pentre already has HMOs in the area and to allow this type of development would be setting a precedent for this type of accommodation and would “deny young families and the elderly affordable homes within the Valley area”.

But in recommending approval planning officers said in their report: “The proposal is in keeping with policies AW5 and AW6 of the Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Development Plan 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.”

It is set to be considered by Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT)’s planning committee on Thursday, June 20.