Rehabilitation of armed service veterans raise local fears

Local residents who expressed concern that the conversion of a guest house in south Wales to a house in multiple occupation providing accommodation for armed service veterans would give rise to crime and anti-social behaviour have been overruled by an inspector who decided that it would not undermine their amenity or the character of the area.

The property would accommodate up to six veterans with the aim of supporting their transition back into civilian life. Some would be suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and mental and physical health issues but non-residential support workers would attend the property on a regular basis and a house manager would oversee the safe running of the household, the inspector noted. All veterans would be vetted for their suitability and willingness to interact with other occupants, and the police authority stated that there was no concern over the use in terms of crime and disorder. The site lay close to a school and other sensitive uses but in the absence of any firm indication that harm would result the inspector decided that the appeal should succeed, noting that the council had resolved to support the development. Thus the perceived fear by existing residents, whilst a material consideration, did not outweigh the otherwise acceptable nature of the scheme.

Inspector: Penny Davies; Written representations

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