Plans to turn a house in Newport city centre into a HMO have been resubmitted, despite the flood risk associated with the plans.

In November 2020, an application to convert 11 Coverack Road from a three bedroom home into a five bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) was thrown out by Newport City Council.

At the time, there was concern that the plans contained flood risks for those living in ground floor rooms inside the property, as they would not have any space on the upper flood in the event of a flooding incident.

Planning documents showed that the property would have been divided into five en-suite rooms – two on the ground floor, and three upstairs.

There would also be a ground floor kitchen.

The plans - submitted by a Mr Paul Parsons of Creation Design, on behalf of the applicant, did not contain a flood consequence assessment (FCA).

In an email submitted as part of the application, Mr Parsons told the council that an FCA “would be an overkill”.

This view was not supported by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who objected to the application on the grounds that an FCA had not been carried out.

Charlotte Morgan, of NRW said: “A Flood Consequences Assessment (FCA) is required to demonstrate the risks and consequences of flooding can be managed to an acceptable level, or an amended layout is submitted such that no unit is situated on the ground floor with no upstairs refuge.”

What do the amended plans show?

Following the refusal of the initial planning application, a fresh application was submitted to the council last month (February, 2022) – complete with a Flood Consequences Assessment.

The FCA shows that the property, which is 180 metres away from the River Usk is "at medium overall risk of flooding”, the proposed development “would not increase local flood risk”.

It also highlighted the same concern that Natural Resources Wales highlighted, in that any occupants in the downstairs rooms would not have anywhere inside the property at a higher than ground floor level, in the event of a flood emergency.

According to the original application, which was submitted in September 2020, there is just one other HMO property in a 50 metre radius to this one.

However, Victoria ward councillor Farzina Hussain has already lodged an objection to the fresh plans, arguing that “this planning application is in an area of over concentration of Houses in Multiple Occupation already”.

The councillor went on to request that the application be considered at committee level later this year.

The planning application can be viewed and commented upon online here.