Proposed studio flats in Gower contested

FOUR studio flats in Gower have been given planning approval on appeal, despite Swansea Council claiming they are too small.

Converted one-bedroom flats should be a mininum of 46sq m in Swansea, but the first floor studios at the building in Penclawdd measure 33sq m, 42sq m and 43sq m.

The council, which refused retrospective planning permission last December, said the fourth studio – despite measuring 47sq m – was technically below the threshold because of stairs and a sloping bedroom ceiling.

Planning officers said the studios at Station Square provided a “sub-standard level of accommodation” for occupiers, and cited “serious concerns” for whoever lived in the smallest of the four.

But applicant CK Supermarkets appealed the decision, and Welsh Government-appointed inspector Richard Duggan said the council’s design guide setting out the 46sq m threshold “should not be treated as prescriptive”.

Mr Duggan added that the design guide did not refer to studio flats, which he said tended to be smaller than conventional one-bedroom flats.

He also considered the effect of the studios on the Penclawdd Conservation Area.

Four parking spaces are to be set aside for occupiers of the studios in a parking area close to the building.

Upholding CK Supermarkets’ appeal, Mr Duggan said the studios would be attractive to first-time buyers, and added: “In my judgement and based on my observations on site, I consider that the four studio flats are spacious for the intended occupiers and have been finished to a very good standard.”

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