HMO plans for Bangor slammed by the council

More council HMO bashing is taking place in Bangor, North Wales as a health authority plan to turn to two large buildings in Bangor into houses of multiple occupation (HMO) have been slammed by councillors.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has submitted applications to change Bodfaen, on Craig y Don Road, into a seven-bedroom house of multiple occupancy (HMO), and 26 College Road into an eight-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The plans were discussed at a meeting of Bangor City Council’s planning and amenities committee last week and councillors immediately dismissed them as “disgraceful” and claimed developments such as this were turning Bangor into “a ghetto”.

The city council has been very clear on its policy on HMOs with many recommended for refusal due to reasons such as over-development of the sites.

Cllr June Marshall said: “Plans for a HMO in Garth were refused and we need to be careful because we don’t want entire streets which are HMOs.

“I am very happy to propose this application is refused.”

Cllr John Wynn Jones said: “There is an effect on society if there are too many HMOs.

“It is very irresponsible (of the health board) – I think it’s disgraceful.

“I think we should write to them and ask them what their intentions are.”

Cllr Derek Hainge, chairman of the committee, asked councillors about writing to the health board and ask them if they are turning the city “into a ghetto”.

Cllr Keith Marshall said: “They should turn it (Bodfaen) into a family house and then put it on the market.

Town clerk Gwyn Hughes said he was concerned over parking amenities for the two sites and also stated his continued concerns over the amount of HMO applications the council was receiving.

Councillors voted unanimously to recommend rejection for the two applications which will now go before Gwynedd Council’s planning committee.

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We can confirm that Change of Use applications have been submitted to Gwynedd County Council Planning Service for two properties which are to be vacated shortly due to the transfer of staff to other health board sites in Bangor.

“The Health Board will respond to any material objections raised as part of the normal planning process; our understanding from Gwynedd County Council is that no objections have been received by them to-date.”

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