Inspector overturns Vale Council's planning refusal for bedsits at former Barry RAFA Club headquarters
9:00am Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
A PLANNING inspector has overturned the Vale Council planning committee's decision to stop the town's former RAFA Club being converted into supported bedsits for homeless people.
Residents and the Mount Sorrel Hotel had objected to the former Porthkerry Road club's conversion into 13 flats with communal laundry room, offices and a meeting/training room - claiming privacy, parking, outdoor amenity space and anti-social behaviour could cause problems.
The inspector decided not to award costs against the Vale Council, but said the development should go ahead. Inspector Mr Nield, although acknowledging amenity space was less than normally acceptable, said the space was appropriate for bedsits in which occupation was likely to be for a shorter time than flats.
He said the bedsit residents would be unlikely to have cars and the premises would be used to provide homes for ordinary people who were homeless, and there was no expectation that people 'of anti-social character' would be homed there.
He added there was a pressing need for accommodation of this sort in Barry, and that the bedsits would enable the Council and Hafod Care Housing Association to provide shelter, education and assistance to homeless people to prepare them to move on with their lives.
He also noted the proposal would significantly reduce the costs incurred by the Council in meeting its obligation to provide accommodation for the homeless, a cost running at several hundred thousand pounds per year.