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Plans to increase number of residents living in HMO set for approval despite concerns of overcrowding

Plans to increase the maximum number of people that can live in a HMO on the outskirts of town have been recommended for approval, despite a series of concerns about overcrowding.

At present the house in multiple occupation at 86 Erddig Road is currently occupied by eight residents housed in eight single bedrooms

But due to the “demands for such accommodation” in the area, the applicant is seeking permission to allow the property to be let as seven double bedrooms for a maximum of 14 residents.

Next week members of the council’s planning committee will be asked to approve the plans.

However the application has been met with objection by councillor Alun Jenkins, a number of residents and the community council, who have argued that there is a lack of parking and insufficient space for tenants.

Cllr Jenkins, who has has called for the application to be refused, adds: “It cannot be acceptable either in planning or in licensing terms that what was an original four bedroomed terraced house to house fourteen people.

“The facilities within the property are barely sufficient for the present eight residents, with a single kitchen/dining room on the ground floor for all the residents, a single WC and separate shower room on the ground floor, and a single small shower/wc on the first floor.

“It would appear that there are no proposals to improve the wc/shower facilities on either the ground or first floors to cater for the six additional residents.”

He continues onto say: “This is surely not the type of residential property that we would want to be encouraging in Wrexham.

“This part of Erddig Road is at the heart of the Conservation Area, and the creation of such sub-standard housing would be completely unacceptable and out of keeping with the area.”

But the council’s Chief Officer of Planning and Regulatory, Lawrence Isted states that because the property is already occupied as a HMO it is “unnecessary to consider whether the proposals result in an over concentration of this type of accommodation.”

Addressing concerns about lack of parking, Mr Isted notes that “whilst it is accepted the property has no off-street parking spaces it is not unusual in the area”.

He continues onto say that: “Very few households living in rental accommodation in Wrexham have more than 2 vehicles, with a significant proportion of households in rental accommodation not having access to a vehicle or only have one vehicle per household.”

Mr Isted adds: “The proposal seeks to reduce the number of bedrooms from eight to seven and on the basis of the new standard the parking requirement is identical.

“The proposal will result in an up-grading of the property and will provide an opportunity to
enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and preserve the areas character.

“The sustainable location reduces the requirement for occupiers to be reliant upon a car, with the property in close proximity to the main roads, bus routes, employment, access to shops and
health and community facilities.

“The property will provide general waste and garden waste bins. Open space will be provided in the 50m2 rear garden and 60m2 front garden. There is proposed cycle parking for 2 bicycles and a drying line will also be provided.”

The application will be considered for approval by planning committee members at 4pm on Monday 2nd September. The meeting will also be webcast on the Wrexham Council website.

Source: Wrexham