A VERY distinctive mock Tudor former working men’s club in Rodbourne could become a home for up to 12 people.
Developer Mr Idowu Sholanke of Noble D Ltd, based in Swindon has applied for permission to turn the half-timbered Morris Street club into a shared house for 12 with 11 bedrooms.
His application says: “This type of accommodation provides an ideal solution for young people who need to rent accommodation once they leave home or young professionals working away from their family homes.
He makes a point of saying that there will be more space for communal rooms than is usually the case in houses of multiple occupation: “Traditional shared accommodation has limited communal facilities and often consists of very small bedrooms with limited space, often just a kitchen.
“The individuals then spend the majority of the time, whilst not working, in their rooms with minimal contact outside of these rooms. This issue has been further compounded by the current global pandemic.
“Internally the property would be arranged into 12 en-suite rooms with a large communal living/dining area and kitchen on the ground floor. There is an additional communal area on the first floor.”
The application says the frontage to Morris Street will be kept, but part of the rear of the building will be knocked down to create an outside space for the residents and to improve light to the rear bedrooms.
The plans do not find favor with Central Swindon North Parish Council. It said it has “very strong” objections and wanted the application called in to be considered by members of Swindon Borough Council’s planning committee.
It said: “The parish council objects to this application due to a lack of parking provision, lack of adequate shared living/kitchen space, and overdevelopment of the site.
We have concerns about any future occupant’s mental health due to being unable to relax in a private space other than the bedrooms as an insufficient area for all residents to share together. “
Despite these objections, the report to members of the committee recommends they approve the plan.
It says: “The proposed development is within a residential area and located in a sustainable Whilst the proposed development will result in the loss of a community facility this issue had been previously considered and it was accepted by the Borough Council that sufficient marketing of the site had been made before granting planning permission for a scheme for five flats in 2018.
“While the development is required to meet the Council’s HMO standards the individual floorspace provided and communal space is in excess of these minimum standards.”
The committee will meet at 6pm in the council chamber in Euclid Streety on Tuesday October 11.