Council makes decision on HMO plan for busy city road amid parking concerns

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REJECTED: The homes in Bransford Road, Worcester, where a plan to convert the buildings into HMOs was turned down by council planners <i>(Image: Google Maps)</i>
REJECTED: The homes in Bransford Road, Worcester, where a plan to convert the buildings into HMOs was turned down by council planners (Image: Google Maps)

A PLAN to convert a pair of homes in St John’s into HMOs has been turned down by the council.

Worcester City Council has rejected two planning applications by Hemmings Property Group to convert two homes in Bransford Road into houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).

Planning officers at the council said adding another two HMOs in Bransford Road would breach its rules on the number of permitted HMOs within a given area.

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The plan had promised to include a total of four parking spaces – two at each home – which was supported by highways officers at Worcestershire County Council who said the plan met its requirements.

However, several neighbours complained that parking spaces were already at a premium in Bransford Road – which has double yellow lines – and surrounding residential streets such as the narrow and already tightly-packed Blakefield Road.

One objector, Caroline Fitzgerald of Blakefield Road, said: “There is no parking for the people who already live on Blakefield Road, and a multiple occupancy would mean multiple cars and minimal parking … There is no parking and double yellow lines outside the front of the house on Bransford Road and there is constant illegal parking.

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Another objector, Angie Sellwood, also of Blakefield Road said: “As there is no parking along Bransford Road this has the potential to push parking into Blakefield Road and School Road which are already jammed with parked cars.”

Rory McPhail of Blakefield Road said: “The pathways and roads are already dangerous with the amount of cars already parked, some of them illegally parked on double yellow lines or completely covering pathways as it is. There is just no space on this road to accommodate more multiple occupancy housing.”

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The council’s current policy does not allow for more than ten per cent of homes within 100 metres of a given building to be HMOs.

The council mostly controls the number of new HMOs that can be built in the city – as well as restricting the number of old homes that are converted into HMOs – and has the power to prevent any applications that, if built, would exceed the number of ‘accepted’ HMOs.

Calculations by the council showed that allowing the two homes to become three-bed HMOs would push the proportion of buildings slightly past the ten per cent limit – at 10.69 per cent within 100 metres of the Bransford Road homes.