Newport HMO scrapped after opposition from neighbors
Plans for a new HMO in a residential area of Newport have been rejected by planners after neighbors complained.
A three-bedroom terraced house in Collier Street is said to have been turned into a four-person HMO (multiple occupancy house) under the proposals.
17 neighbors filed objections to the plans, citing fears including that a new HMO “would have a detrimental effect on the street” and could end up “potentially increasing anti-social behavior”.
But it was a lack of available parking that Newport council planners cited when they rejected HMO’s application.
The conversion would have required four parking spaces – and planners said the property would have been “entirely dependent on nearby residential streets” for parking if it went ahead.
‘Additional parking demand will result in congestion and increased hazardous vehicle maneuvers to the detriment of residential amenities and road safety, and no information has been provided to mitigate this objection,’ council planners said.
Several local residents cited existing parking pressures when opposing the planned HMO.
One described Collier Street as “already crowded”, and another said “after 6pm on most days it’s often impossible to park near you”.
However, many of the residents’ other concerns did not play a role in the decision to refuse the HMO.
A common complaint was fear that an HMO would bring crime, noise, and anti-social behavior to the neighborhood.
One person who objected said Collier Street was “a family-oriented community” and shared fears that the planned HMO “could be the start of a decline in the area.”
Another person said ‘the police always seem to be in that area lately’ and suggested ‘it would make sense to turn this house into a police station’.
A parent who expressed opposition to the plans said “for the safety of the children [and] our local school, I most certainly oppose this candidacy”.
Council officers noted residents’ concerns, but said “the primary considerations in this application are the potential impact of the change of use on parking supply, flooding, and the potential impact on the character and amenity to the surrounding area and neighboring properties”.
The proposals were for a property in a “highly vulnerable” flood risk area, according to planning documents, but the environmental agency Natural Resources Wales raised no objections to the HMO’s plans.
Some residents also objected on the grounds that they felt there were already enough HMOs in the neighborhood.
But planners said “it is considered that the proposal would not result in a harmful level of over-concentration of HMO in the area and is acceptable in terms of the risk of flooding”.