MORE student houses are being created outside a special zone which limits their numbers, according to a Swansea councillor.
As of this year, an area of Brynmill and Uplands has a 25% threshold for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) within a 50-metre radius.
This is limiting HMO applications, but Cllr May said developers were turning their attention to streets outside this zone, where a 10% threshold applies.
Addressing Swansea’s planning committee at a meeting on August 6, Uplands councillor Peter May said he had noticed a displacement effect.
“HMO after HMO is still being pumped into the Uplands ward,” he said.
He called for a 5% buffer zone to be created outside the 25% threshold area to mitigate HMO displacement.
Cllr May was speaking in opposition to an application to convert a three-bedroom house on Edgeware Road, Uplands, into a four-bedroom HMO.
The application prompted nine letters of objection and a petition with 71 signatures.
The officer report before the committee said the lounge in the house would become a bedroom, with the kitchen-dining room reduced in size to create a toilet.
The only communal area for the four occupiers would be the kitchen-dining room. One of the upstairs bedrooms would be en-suite.
“On balance the proposed use of the property as a four-bedroom HMO is not considered to be an over-intensification of the property and would be adequate for this number of residents,” said the report.
It added that any impact on parking on Edgeware Road would be acceptable.
The scheme was approved by a majority of the committee, although three councillors voted against it.
Those voting against included Councillor Richard Lewis, who backed the buffer zone idea.
“I feel very sorry for people living in Edgeware Road,” he said. “They are going to see their life changed, and not for the better.
“We, as a council, have let the people of Uplands down very badly.
“We will make it worse. It will be a ghetto.”