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Local campaigners vow to fight on as appeal is launched over refusal of HMO

A group of local campaigners have vowed to fight on after an appeal was launched against the refusal of plans to create a six-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) on their street.

Last month Wrexham Council’s planning committee refused an application to convert an existing house on Beechley Road in Hightown to accommodate a total of seven people.

Their decision was made after members of the Beechley Road Residents’ Association said they felt HMOs were damaging the fabric of their community.

The building’s owner Jennis Konadan has now put in an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in order to overturn the committee’s conclusion.

However John Harding, chair of the residents’ association, says the group will continue to makes their voices heard.

He said: “People are disappointed that he’s appealed as initially we weren’t expecting to be as successful as we have been.

“We want to pursue our main issue about it changing the very nature of existence for the residents of the road. If you go 100 metres down the road then you pick up a cluster of HMOs.

“We don’t intend to just drop it and we also want people to consider the more general point about the likelihood of more HMOs in the road as there are two houses for sale down the other end of the road on the same side.

“We need to start a campaign to the planning authority before it happens.”

Neighbours raised a number of concerns about the plans, including issues over parking and fly tipping as a result of the six existing HMOs on the street.

They have previously presented a petition with 90 signatures against the development.

The committee refused the proposals on the grounds of parking and access, despite being told the council’s highways department had no objections.

In his appeal documents Mr Konadan said he felt the decision should be overturned because it would provide affordable accommodation near the town centre.

He said: “The proposed detached house is the largest and oldest in this street.

“Due to the extra-large size of the property, it was found very difficult to find a single-family tenant to continue its current use as a residential property.

“The submitted application had been verified and consulted on with various departments as part of its process and all departments agree with the development.

“This development will be a very good opportunity for the people who seek affordable, yet spacious accommodation within walking distance of town centre.”

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that it has received the appeal.

Wrexham Council and any other interested parties have until the end of this month to make representations before a decision is made at a later date.

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).

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