Posted: Tue 25th Feb 2020

Pentre Maelor HMO set to go ahead as Planning Inspector overturns local rejection of plans on appeal for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Controversial plans to convert a property near the Wrexham Industrial Estate into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) have been allowed on appeal.

An application to turn a family home on the Pentre Maelor estate, which is opposite HMP Berwyn prison, into seven bedsits back was submitted in May 2019.

The plans – which also include a single storey extension to the rear of the property – were put forward after what landlord Andrew Shield described as a “large demand for accommodation in the area”.

But residents rallied against the proposals to change the use of the property on Bridgeway West by launching a petition which was signed by 136 people.

They raised concerns about the impact the redevelopment would have on parking in the area and the quality of the facilities for the residents.

Despite the fears, the plans had been backed for approval by the council’s chief planning officer, who said the four parking spaces outlined would help to alleviate problems.

The application was later rejected by a majority of councillors in December 2019 amid concerns over parking.

However an appeal was lodged by the applicant prior to the committee’s decision after criticism that the council had failed to make a decision within the relevant timescales.

The committee’s decision has now been overturned, with a decision notice now published revealing that Planning Inspector Claire MacFarlane had granted planning permission on appeal.

In his report MacFarlane states that she feels that the proposal “would not cause harm to highway safety or increase the inconvenience caused to local residents wishing to park close to their homes.”

She continues onto say: “A petition has been submitted by local residents, on the basis that the proposal would set a precedent, ‘disrespects the heritage of the estate’ and would alter the character of the surrounding area.

“However, each application and appeal must be determined on its individual merits in the light of the adopted development plan.

“With the exception of the small rear extension, no external alterations are proposed to the property.

“The surrounding area is residential in nature and the scale of the proposal would not conflict with, or result in a material alteration to, its character in this respect.

“The proposal would therefore not be detrimental to the heritage or character of the area.”

In conclusion the findings state, “For the reasons given above, the appeal is allowed.”

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