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Councillor raises concerns about bedsit plans for seaside town

30 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Rhyl high street buildings.

Richard Evans Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for additional bedsits at a seaside town which has one of the highest number of HMOs in Wales have raised concerns about social problems and a strain on services.

Tom McManus has applied to Denbighshire County Council’s planning department, seeking permission for a lawful development certificate for the proposed internal alterations to form a house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The conversion of the now empty property at 43 Crescent Road, Rhyl, would include an internal timber-stud wall as well as staircase alterations but no external work.

Social problems

In past years, towns such as Rhyl and Colwyn Bay in Conwy have suffered due to a high number of bedsits replacing large single-family homes, bringing a range of social problems to once prosperous seaside towns.

Now Cllr Brian Jones says Rhyl already has enough bedsits, which he argues increases the population, putting a strain on services.

“Last time I looked, Rhyl had one of the highest number of HMOs on the North Wales coast,” he said.

“The history of what’s going on in Rhyl from when these HMOs have been commonplace would suggest it has been detrimental for Rhyl because all other aspects, services, doctors, dentists, employment, none of that has been accounted for when these HMOs have been granted. Denbighshire just carried on as an authority granting all these HMOs, and there were big gaps left in the infrastructure.”

“We need better solutions”

He added: “It (HMOs) needs to be done in a measured way. If you do it in isolation and not take account of all the other services you require, if you increase the population, people can’t get access to those other services, schools, dentists, doctors. It is going to be detrimental, isn’t it? It is not going to help.

“Rhyl certainly doesn’t need any more HMOs in my humble opinion, and we need better solutions. There is data being put in the media recently about the number of empty properties in Rhyl, which suggests bringing them back into use and looking at the high street, and all the empty space above the shops, which could be brought back into use.”

The planning application will now be considered by planners at Denbighshire County Council.

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