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A SWANSEA church could be converted into accommodation for homeless young people, but planning officers are concerned that only two parking spaces are proposed.

Housing provider Pobl Group, which has put forward the pre-application enquiry for United Reformed Church, Waun Wen, said homeless young people were very unlikely to own cars.

It wants to create 14 self-contained units for people aged 16 to 21 who had left emergency and then short-term accommodation.
Pobl Group said support staff would visit the building every day to help and advise those living there.

In a planning statement Pobl said it felt two parking spaces would be sufficient, and that no young homeless adults it housed at a different site had a car. “Given that they were homeless and jobless it is not surprising that none of the service users had cars,” said the statement.
Church-goers at United Reformed Church relocated to the rear hall a few years ago, but plans to convert the church into nine flats were refused due to a low number of parking spaces.

A subsequent application which increased the number of spaces to six was approved, but the church conversion did not take place.
Swansea planning officers said the Carmarthen Road site had reasonable access to public transport, but that car parking spaces were in high demand.

In a response to the pre-application enquiry, officers said the council’s head of transport would be likely to recommend refusal on parking grounds if a full planning application was submitted.

Officers also said further details on the layout and size of the 14 self-contained units would need to be supplied.

A resident of nearby Park Terrace has claimed drug dealers might target the young people who would live in the church. In a letter to the council, the woman claimed that dealers and addicts were a problem in the area. She claimed their behaviour was “very frightening for both the young people of the area and also the older members of this community”.

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