Plans for a 10-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Newport, South Wales, are due to come before a planning inspector after the city council is accused of delaying the development on “no sound basis”.
A planning application for the housing plan in Brynderwen Road, Maindee, was submitted to Newport Council at the end of February, with the original decision date scheduled for 23 April.
Two extensions to the original decision date were agreed, with the latest expiring on 5 June, but the application remains to be decided.
“High quality HMO accommodation”
The scheme proposes converting a five-bedroom house, currently occupied by one person, to provide “high quality” HMO accommodation over four floors.
The scheme also proposes retaining the property’s two off-street parking spaces, but no additional spaces have been suggested.
An appeal has now been filed against the non-determination of the application, with the applicant saying they have “no other alternative”.
Newport Council has said it has been unable to check the findings of a parking survey that was conducted before lockdown restrictions were introduced.
It is expected that the findings of the survey would differ to the present situation due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Ample time to check results”
But a grounds of appeal statement says the council had “ample time” to check the survey results between the application being validated on 28 February and lockdown coming into force on 23 March.
The statement reads: “The council had sufficient time to assess the findings of the parking survey, prior to lockdown.
“Nevertheless, the appellant has been respectful of the current situation and extremely patient in waiting for a date that the planning application can be reported to the planning committee.
“Despite allowing two extension of times, the council cannot confirm when the planning application will be determined.
“With such uncertainty the appellant has been left with no other option other than to appeal against non-determination.”
The statement continues: “The council’s decision to further delay this development that accords with Planning Policy Wales and the adopted Local Development Plan has no sound basis.”
A planning application says the scheme could support school support staff in the area and ensure employers will have the necessary staff.
The proposed HMO would “be attractive to those without access to a car”, the application reads, with facilities accessible by walking and cycling, and a regular bus service to the city centre.
The HMO promises a “high standard” of accommodation, with adequate room sizes and access to a communal private amenity space.