PLANS to turn Wrexham town centre property into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) have been allowed on appeal.
Last year, Wrexham Council planning committee members voted unanimously to reject proposals to convert the property in Albert Street, Smithfield, into a six-bedroom HMO following a site visit.
Members voted unanimously to reject the application based on the concerns over inadequate parking provision.
But applicant Arran Pritchard has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate in the hope of overturning the committee’s decision.
Mr Pritchard appealed on the grounds that it had been recommended for permission to be granted for the development.
He said converting the property to a HMO would have no negative effect on parking and added the property is in a sustainable location given proximity to bus routes and easy walking distance to nearby shops and facilities.
Planning Inspectorate officer Clive Sproule agreed, giving the greenlight for the development to go ahead.
Mr Sproule said a report provided by Wrexham Council’s service manager for the environment, Darren Williams, showed the scheme would not be likely to result in greater on-street parking demand.
And evidence provided by Mr Pritchard supported that view.
Mr Sproule said: “Off-street car parking opportunities are limited, which will cause many vehicle drivers and owners who live in these streets to rely on on-street parking.
”While doubts have been raised regarding the basis of the appellant’s evidence, there is no convincing evidence that demonstrates the service manager environment’s assessment and conclusion on the possible impact is likely to be unreliable.
”Consequently, it is not apparent that on-street parking would be likely to increase due to the appeal scheme. In this regard, the council has failed to demonstrate that the appeal proposal would be unacceptably harmful to local living conditions or highway safety.”
He concluded: “The proposal would result in social benefit through the provision of homes for people within a particular sector of the housing market.
”They would be in a location that would provide pedestrian access to the jobs, services and transport opportunities within the centre of Wrexham.
”Occupants of the rooms would contribute to the local economy and it has not been shown that the development would have anything other than a neutral impact on local culture.
”Accordingly, the appeal scheme would be a sustainable form of development and should be allowed.”
Source: The Leader