Councillor calls for probe into handling of 10 Meyrick Street, Pembroke Dock, bedsits application
3:00pm Sunday 17th February 2013 in County News
A county councillor will be asking for a full investigation into the handling of a retrospective planning application for a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) at 10 Meyrick Street in Pembroke Dock.
Last month, members of the planning and rights of way committee refused a retrospective planning application, which was recommended for approval by planning officers, to convert the first, second and third floors of the property into 15 bedrooms with two kitchenettes, two shower rooms, a bathroom and a communal area.
Pembroke Dock Central Councillor Alison Lee said: “Nothing seemed to be right with the whole planning thing and how it was dealt with.”
She said police had raised a number of concerns about the property, which they considered a high priority.
“In the committee documents there was just a brief outline of concerns but if something is a high priority for the police then committee members should know more,” Cllr Lee said.
Cllr Lee also plans to submit a notice of motion that committee members are given the full facts and not just a breakdown.
She said: “The police issues were not brought up properly and committee members were not fully aware of the objections received.
“It needs to change – members need to have full information on objections and support.”
Cllr Lee was concerned 10 Meyrick Street had been “non-conforming use” as bedsits for two years, as planning permission was only ever granted for four flats.
She said: “There was supposed to be parking, that never happened. There was supposed to be rubbish facilities, that never happened.
“I believe the enforcement officer spent over 12 months trying to chase that. Twelve months is a long time to be chasing something.”
A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said: “Before deciding whether to pursue formal enforcement action, and in order to establish whether the unauthorised use was acceptable in planning terms, the owner was invited to submit a retrospective planning application.
“The matter became protracted as it proved necessary to make repeated requests to the owner for such an application.
“Once submitted, the application was subject to public consultation and a report, which referred to all the consultation replies that had been received, was considered by the council’s planning and rights of way committee.
“In light of the decision to refuse the application, the council is now taking steps to ensure the cessation of the unauthorised use.”