Appeal launched over refusal of plans to increase rooms at Wrexham HMO
An appeal has been launched after a bid to increase the number of bedrooms at a house in multiple occupation (HMO) near Wrexham town centre was turned down.
Landlord Arran Pritchard applied to Wrexham Council in January to up the amount of bedrooms at a property on Poplar Road from six to seven.
However, the local authority issued a decision to reject the proposals after planning officers said there were not enough parking spaces outside.
Mr Pritchard has now submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in an attempt to have the outcome overturned.
In documents entered to support his case, he claimed most people living in HMOs don’t own a car, meaning the small increase would not cause a problem.
Highlighting a survey of the number of vehicles owned by tenants across the 23 properties he lets in the town, he said: “Here attached are two “vehicles per room” assessments, conducted in September 2015 and May 2016.
“They show that for 146 rooms/ occupants, there are just 17 to 25 occupants with vehicles, or one vehicle for every five rooms.
“This is largely due to all the rooms being in the town centre and tenants generally not being able to afford a vehicle.
“The planning application is to increase the number of rooms by the minimum possible, from six rooms to seven rooms. A comparable planning application, refusal, and successful appeal is the planning case for 33 Park Street, Wrexham.”
Mr Pritchard previously attempted to increase the total number of bedrooms at the property to eight but permission was denied on similar grounds.
Despite appealing the decision on the original application, a planning inspector appointed by the Welsh Government agreed with the council’s views.
In her decision notice, Siân Worden said she felt the proposals would impact on the safety of drivers at a busy junction.
She said: “The appeal property is in a busy area where there are widespread parking restrictions and many of the dwellings do not have off-street parking. There thus appears to be a high demand for on-street spaces.
“The proposed development would result in a small increase in the number of vehicles requiring parking spaces in the vicinity.
“Even so, it would increase the hazard on the local road network, and reduce its efficient use, by resulting in more drivers searching for a parking space.”
Mr Pritchard’s latest appeal will considered at a future date.
By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).
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