Council decision to refuse plans for Wrexham HMO overturned by inspector
A DECISION to refuse proposals for a Wrexham HMO (house in multiple occupation) has been overturned by a planning inspector.
Wrexham Council turned down permission for the conversion of a three-bedroom house on Oxford Street, which is close to the town centre, into five bedsits in February last year.
It followed concerns being raised that it would cause extra parking problems on the road, which is already said to have a lack of spaces available.
The outcome led to an appeal being lodged with the Planning Inspectorate by applicant Sarah O’Connell Jones.
Joanne Burston, the inspector responsible for overseeing the process, has now reversed the local authority’s decision after concluding the proposals would not have a negative impact.
In a report, she said: “In this case, given the sustainable location I am of the opinion that the development would not likely have a significant effect on traffic generation, parking problems or road safety within the area.
“I also note that as the appellant proposes one off-street parking space – the parking demand along Oxford Street is unlikely to result in an increase above that which already exists.
“Moreover, there is no objection from the highway authority in respect of parking and traffic generation, or any suggestion from it that highway safety or access for emergency vehicles would be compromised.
“Taking all of these matters into account, I therefore find that the house, with its one off-street parking space, has adequate parking provision and that the proposed change of use would not exacerbate on-street parking to the extent that highway safety or the free flow of traffic would be materially harmed.”
Her comments came despite local councillor Adrienne Jeorrett describing the parking situation in the area as “serious”.
In a letter to the inspectorate, she said: “This area is in a central location but has had increasing parking problems for a number of years.
“This street is especially bad for parking and is impacting on the surrounding streets.
“There has been a decrease in bus services nationally and the likelihood is that there will be a number of vehicles associated with this property adding to the already serious parking problem.”
However, while Ms Burston acknowledged the plans did not meet the council’s parking standards, she said it was “generic guidance” and chose to allow the appeal.
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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