RESIDENTS have spoken of their frustration after permission was given to convert a home into a house of multiple occupation (HMO).

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.

But following an appeal by applicant Arran Pritchard, Planning Inspectorate officer Clive Sproule gave the green light for the development to go ahead.

Residents of Albert Street told the Leader of their concerns about the development, which include the impact on traffic, noise, the visual appearance of the street and parking.

Jane Hillman, 50, lives next to the property to be converted and said she is worried about an increase in noise.

She said: “We all wrote in our letters of objection and councillors decided the application should be rejected. Mr Pritchard then put in an appeal and Cardiff decided to overturn what Wrexham decided.

“How many others is he going to buy? How many other people are going to go through this stress and why don’t Wrexham Council have their own policy in place so that when they say it is refused, it is refused? I don’t think there is anything more we can do now.”

Pat Morris, 67, who has lived in the road for 43 years, said: “Wrexham Council did come and turn it down and Cardiff overturned it – why have we got a planning committee in Wrexham?

“I agree single people really need somewhere to live but shall we not say single people should have somewhere decent to live like new build places – not stick six in a small three bedroom terraced house.

“It is the thought they will let someone come in there, take a family house and put six strangers in little rooms.

“To me that is not fair on any single person – we’re going Dickensian. They should have somewhere decent to live.

“Over the years this street has been destroyed. It used to be a family street and you knew and looked after everyone. Everywhere changes but it is not changing for the better.”

Albert Street resident Emma Ellis, 39, co-manages a part HMO property based in Pen y Bryn and said she has concerns over the size of the rooms in the new development.

She said: “When you look at the size of the rooms they are nowhere near the size we have. Ours has its own car park and a big bin so it doesn’t affect the neighbourhood because it is all closed off.

“When you look at this there is not enough space for people to move around – I just can’t see how it works for this amount of people.”

Jean and Llewelyn Jones said they have concerns the HMO will result in problems for residents who use a shared access between Albert Road and and Bury Street, as well as potential littering and fly-tipping.

Regarding the residents’ efforts to get their views across, Mr Jones, 77, said: “We have been banging our heads against a brick wall.”

Speaking of the appeal decision Arran Pritchard told the Leader: “The Planning Inspectorate has simply applied what is already planning policy.”


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