Agenda item

Application DM/2019/00030 - Change of use - upgrades to a residential property and relevant works to provide a house of multiple occupancy - works to include electrics, roof, kitchen and bathroom, internal upgrades to comply with relevant regulations. 30 Somerset Way, Bulwark, Chepstow, NP16 5NP


We considered the report of the application and late correspondence, which was recommended for approval subject to two conditions as outlined in the report.


The local Member for Thornwell attended the meeting by invitation of the Chair and outlined the following points:


·         There has not been adequate consultation with the community in respect of this application.


·         The proposed dwelling is for up to six people with the potential for office space also, which changes the proposal.  The local Member has concerns regarding this matter and the effect that it might have on the community.


·         The car parking provision is inadequate for six people.


·         The individuals who will be living at the proposed premises might have complex needs.  Additional space should be available within the premises for individuals to go to in order to receive the required support.


·         The local Member asked the Planning Committee to consider deferring the application to allow Monmouthshire Housing Association to consider reducing the number of occupants from six to five, as he considered that six occupants was excessive for this dwelling.


·         These individuals will not know each other and will be forced to live together in difficult circumstances.


·         The local community is concerned about the proposed change of use of the dwelling.


The Senior Strategy & Policy Officer informed the Committee that the County Council asked Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA) to purchase the property with Social Housing Grant funding as the Authority is very short of shared accommodation for people aged under 25. Since April 2018 to February 2019, the Authority had 42 16 to 17 year olds who presented as potentially homeless and 178 18 to 24 year olds in a similar position.  The premises will be managed by Monmouthshire County Council’s Housing Options Team.


The Development Management Area Team Manager informed the Committee that the parking provision is sufficient for this dwelling and for its type of use.  In terms of office space, the application is for a six bedroomed house of multiple occupancy with no additional office space.  However, the local Member stated that he had been informed that one of the bedrooms may be used as ancillary office space instead.


Having considered the report and the views expressed by the local Member, the following points were noted:


·         There is a similar premises operating in Bulwark previously which has been successful.


·         In response to a question raised regarding management of the premises, it was noted that the County Council’s Housing Options Team will be managing the premises. The Authority is mindful of the mix and what is in the locality when accommodating people.


·         The County Council’s Housing Options Team manages a number of these properties very well.


·         It was noted that the people occupying these types of premises can be the most vulnerable people in the community and this accommodation is greatly needed.


·         The occupiers will have tenancy agreements which they will have to adhere to.


The local Member for Thornwell summed up as follows:


·         The complexity and culture of the area has changed in recent years.


·         Local residents are concerned regarding the proposed change of use of the dwelling.


·         There will be no communal space available to the residents within the proposed dwelling.


·         The Authority has a duty to consult with local residents in advance of the proposal and after the change of use of the dwelling.  It is hoped that consultation will continue with local residents should the application be approved.


It was proposed by County Councillor J. Becker and seconded by County Councillor M. Powell that application DM/2019/00030 be approved subject to the two conditions as outlined in the report.


Upon being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded:


For approval              -           10

Against approval      -           0

Abstentions               -           0


The proposition was carried.


We resolved that application DM/2019/00030 be approved subject to the two conditions as outlined in the report.


Supporting documents: