NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Oct 3rd, 2018.
Plans to convert a former union office into a 20-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO) have been given the green light.
Revive Property Ltd entered an application to change the use of the former Unite the Union district office on Chester Street, Flint, back in August.
In the past politicians in Flintshire have raised fears about the cumulative impact of HMOs on the character of communities.
However, on this occasion they were impressed with the standard of the proposed conversion, which includes en suite bathrooms for 17 of the bedrooms.
Speaking at a planning committee meeting, property investor Milesh Lakhani said he already owned a number of similar properties in the county and was careful about the tenants he chose.
He said: “I believe that everyone has a right to be housed in a good standard of accommodation which meets their needs and requirements.
“64 Chester Street is an unused office building that has been empty and on the market for almost two years now.
“That shows the demand for its use as an office building is limited.
“If approved the property would help meet the demand for affordable housing in the area.
“All of my current tenants are in employment or education. For this site I will ensure the tenant profile is similar to that of our current tenants.”
Councillors highlighted that the main difference between the application and previous ones, was that it was not in a residential area.
They also said there was a demand for accommodation for single people.
Cllr Derek Butler, the authority’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “A number of us in this room know this building very well from a former life.
“It’s a good use of this building. It has been advertised for sale or rent for an awful long time with no commercial uptake at all.
“For a dead building to come back to life is the best use.
“We all know there’s a dearth of single occupation out there and it will address that.”
The majority of councillors voted in favour of the proposals with only two against.
The consent includes a condition for a covered bin store to be included in the plans to deal with waste issues.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.