Plans to turn a family home on the edge of Wrexham town centre into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) have been approved on appeal.
Councillors originally rejected proposals to convert the house on Salop Road into five bedsits in September because of the large number of similar properties nearby.
They said it would breach council guidelines which state the maximum amount of HMOs allowed within a 50 metre radius of any given location should be no more than ten per cent.
Permitting the application would have increased the concentration of bedsits in the area to 16 per cent.
However, their decision has now been overturned by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government following a successful appeal.
In a report, Hywel Wyn Jones said he could find no proof of the planning committee’s claims that the scheme would have a negative social impact.
He said: “There is no substantive evidence before me to indicate that the existing presence of HMOs in this mixed-use part of the town is causing an over concentration that is affecting the social fabric or residential amenity of the community, nor that the scheme would be likely to create such problems.
“My visit did not reveal any of the physical manifestations that can arise from such developments, such as high numbers of letting signs, unkempt frontages, or household waste strewn along the street.
“As the ten per cent threshold is one provided in guidance to assist decision makers, it should not be slavishly followed as though it were an absolute limit.
“The mixed-use character of this edge of town centre location reinforces my view in this respect.
“Thus, on this main issue I conclude that the proposed use would not be harmful to the social fabric or residential amenity of the host community.”
The plans were also refused on the grounds it would cause an increase in demand for parking on the street, adding to existing problems.
While Mr Wyn Jones acknowledged there was pressure on the amount of spaces, he concluded the scheme would not give rise to an additional demand.
He added: “None of the matters raised in objection to the scheme lead me away from finding that it is acceptable.
“I shall therefore allow the appeal subject to the conditions suggested by the council and one to deal with cycle storage.”
By Liam Randall