Shotton residents hit out at property use changes

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

Residents claim part of a town is becoming a “ghetto” due to property changes.

Residents in Ash Grove, Shotton, are frustrated at the number of residential properties being converted into HMOs - homes of multiple occupation and bedsits.

According to long-term residents, the increase in the number of people living in the area is causing an increase in parking problems, drug issues and crime.

An application has been submitted to Flintshire Council seeking to turn a property on Health Street into a HMO, and will be considered by county planners at a future date.

The concerns follow similar complaints expressed by Buckley Town Council at their meeting last month, when considering an HMO application for Mold Road.

Members at the meeting heard there was a ‘lack of policy’ and even if Flintshire Council’s planning committee turned it down, it would be won on appeal.

Ash Grove resident Julie Doran said: “Another application has been received for a six bedroom property to be converted – this is in Health Street – behind us in Ash Grove.

“Our local councillor Dave Evans said his hands were tied – the council just couldn’t say no to applications for planning even though there are numerous objections.

”From the middle of Ash Grove to the bottom it is mostly HMOs or flats.

“Combined with Health Street which is at the rear
of my property there are over 30 rooms available for rent.

“Parking is always an issue. It’s a joke. Deliveries can’t be made.

“My husband comes home from a 12 hour shift at 6am and he has nowhere to park.

“Health Street isn’t actually wide enough to put yellow lines to stop people parking but there are already two houses with a total of 10 bedrooms on this part of the street.

“The proposed new HMO is six bedrooms and is next door to the other two.

“In the summer there were tenants taking drugs and partying in the street but they’ve moved on now.

“There was a stabbing in Ashfield Road last week.

“We have said the area is getting more and more like a ghetto – I personally think there should be a cap on the number of houses in the area.

“Why are the council’s hands tied? Surely they have some power?

“The latest application says the land at the side is available for parking.

“This is access to the rear of Ash Grove – to use this as a car park is a joke – how would an ambulance or fire engine get around the back in an emergency?”

A Flintshire Council spokesman said no restrictions can be made on the number of HMOs in an area or where they are based.

She said: “Local authorities cannot restrict where HMOs are under housing legislation – only ensure that they meet the required housing standards.”

Email:

rory.sheehan@nwn.co.uk

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