NOTE: This content is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 23rd, 2018.
Two county councillors have called on Flintshire’s cabinet committee to back new rules on houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).
Cllr Sean Bibby (Shotton West Ward) has written a letter, co-signed by Cllr David Evans (Shotton East Ward) to members of the cabinet ahead of a meeting today outlining the impact the spread of HMO’s is having on communities like Shotton.
It comes after concerns have previously been raised that Flintshire planners have little or no policy to deal with the growing number of HMO applications to turn family homes into multiple single occupancy flats.
Mr Bibby wrote: “In Shotton we have seen many applications to convert properties to HMOs.
Whilst appreciating that there is a demand for these type of properties it is clear that in some areas that this type of development is rapidly changing the character of settled communities into more transient ones, and also exasperating issues around parking and waste collection.”
The note goes onto to say: “This is understandably creating a lot of concern in our communities, and applications of this nature have generated intense opposition in our wards.”
Back in July, the landlord of a pub which had been turned into a HMO in Connah’s Quay was fined more than £15,000 after 40 people had to be evacuated because of the imminent threat to their safety.
Issues highlighted by police and council officials at The Old Quay House on Dock Road included out of date firefighting equipment, inadequate escape routes and insufficient heating.
Ahead of today’s meeting Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for planning and public protection, Councillor Chris Bithell, said: “
Because of these issues and as an interim measure, an HMO developer advice note has been produced to clarify for developers the standards and requirements expected in the submission of applications for HMOs, as well as guidance on key areas such as parking requirements, the impact on the living conditions of neighbours, and controls relating to the concentration of HMOs in an area.
“To carry weight as a material planning consideration when used to assess applications for HMOs, the developer advice note needs to be approved and released for public consultation prior to being adopted.”
The advice note is made up of three main parts including standards for future residents and requirements relating to the development of stand-alone flats or mixed flat and bedsit accommodation.
It also requires developers to consider the impact on the living conditions of neighbours living nearby.
If approved by Flintshire Council’s cabinet today, a consultation will be launched so that responses can be considered before the proposals are formally adopted.