AN APPEAL has been launched over the refusal of plans to almost double the number of people living in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Wrexham.

Last month, councillors rejected a bid to change the layout of a property on Erddig Road, near the town centre, because of concerns over a shortage of on-street parking.

Owner Andrew Shields wanted to create seven double bedrooms to boost the amount of tenants he can accommodate from eight to fourteen.

Wrexham Council’s planning committee threw the proposals out despite a recommendation for approval from officers after also being told of issues with rubbish piling up outside the house.

Mr Shields has now launched an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate to have the decision overturned after claiming most people living in HMOs do not own cars.

In documents entered on his behalf, planning agent Bob Dewey said: “Very few households living in rental accommodation in Wrexham have more than two vehicles, with a significant proportion of households in rental accommodation not having access to a vehicle or only one vehicle per household.

“The council says that the development will give rise to an increase in demand for parking.

“The appellant has not been shown any evidence to support this allegation.

“The appellant has always tried to engage with the local community and remains anxious to be a good and responsible landlord willing to respond to any problems that may arise.

“There is a strong demand for a variety of accommodation. In the appellant’s view, a more varied occupation will surely enhance its suitability for fitting in with the community.”

Wrexham’s chief planning officer Lawrence Isted said the proposals would help to address the demand for HMO accommodation in the town.

In a report published ahead of September’s meeting, he also agreed that many people living in rented properties did not own cars and would be more likely to use public transport.

But local resident Richard Fogg told councillors he was worried about the potential for overcrowding if the proposals went ahead.

Speaking at Wrexham’s Guildhall, he said: “There are currently a couple of problems with the property as it is.

“There are bins permanently left outside blocking the pavement and causing a hazard and there are usually between three and five cars parked.

“The plans that I’ve seen look to create a very crowded living arrangement, especially in regard to kitchens, toilets and shower facilities.

“The parking problem is compounded by a number of factors, including that there is no parking whatsoever from numbers 76 to 84.”

The appeal will be heard by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.