Shropshire Star

HMO plan for Wellington approved despite objection from Royal Mail

Plans have been approved for a 14-bedroom home of multiple occupancy in Wellington, despite an objection from Royal Mail.

Pandel Bathrooms in Wellington which is planned to share its ground floor building with the house of multiple occupancy. Photo: Google

The buildings on Bridge Road in Wellington will be converted into a home of multiple occupancy (HMO) with four bedrooms on the ground floor and 10 on the upper floor. The existing Pandel Bathroom retail shop on the ground floor will remain open as normal.

Applicant Lakshminarayanan Seshan originally submitted plans for an 18-bedroom HMO which was reduced to 14 beds following consultation.

The bedrooms are all planned to be en-suite and have shared kitchen, communal lounge and dining rooms – in each of the three conversion sections.

The plans come after the applicant obtained a license for a 12-bed home of multiple occupancy (HMO) in September.

Plans for the HMO show eight allocated parking spaces for the 14 bedrooms and the shop.

“The proposed on-site car park is to solely serve the site, providing parking for customers of the shop and residents of the flats only,” the applicant said.

“The proposed ground floor flats would replace part of an existing shop such that there would be little or no difference in parking requirements.

“The proposed development would have a negligible impact in terms of trip generation and therefore an imperceptible impact on the local highway network.”

The car park would use two existing vehicle access points off Rowland Gate and Bridge Road with a one-way system used to ‘reduce potential vehicle conflicts’.

Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning department said that ‘whilst there is a small shortfall’ in parking spaces available the site is located in a sustainable location with good transport links.

A statement added that there was no potential for vehicles to park on the road due to the existence of parking restrictions.

Wellington Town Council initially objected to the scheme after councillors raised concerns about ‘over-development of the site’ before supporting it with conditions as the application was reduced to 14 bedrooms.

The Royal Mail has a delivery office opposite the site and objected to the housing scheme.

The company said that it operates Monday to Saturday, including overnight, and ‘generates a significant amount of noise and high numbers of two-way vehicular movements per day’.

It said that mail is delivered by 7.5 tonne vehicles before 4am and throughout the night.

The site is also active on Sundays, with staff arriving before 7am, and 7.5 tonne vehicles delivering mail earlier.

“The introduction of residential development in such close proximity to the delivery office is of significant concern to Royal Mail as this use potentially gives rise to future amenity issues and challenges which could restrict or ultimately prevent Royal Mail operations at that site,” Royal Mail said in its objection.

“Royal Mail is concerned about potential noise complaints from new residents who have moved into residential developments adjoining their operational sites where the developer has failed to adequately take into account and mitigate for Royal Mail’s operations in the design and construction of the housing.”

A Telford & Wrekin Council planning officer said that a noise impact assessment had been submitted and council officers are ‘satisfied that appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented, through the installation of acoustically attenuated trickle vents and appropriately glazed windows’.

“The applicant has confirmed that these measures have already been incorporated into the buildings and a suitably worded specifying condition has been included on this decision notice,” said the planning approval.

The council planning officer concluded that the 14-bedroom home of multiple occupancy is ‘considered appropriate and would not lead to an overdevelopment of the site’.

“(Council) officers consider that it has been satisfactorily demonstrated that the building is capable of providing 14 units of accommodation.

“The bedroom sizes are acceptable and meet the sizes required under the local standards for HMOs. The en-suites/bathrooms and communal spaces proposed also meet the standards outlined.”