Express & Star

Parking and crime fears lead to Dudley HMO plan being stopped in its tracks

Dudley Council has thrown out plans to convert a semi-detached home into a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Plans to make this property on Douglass Road an HMO have been rejected. Photo: Google

The plan would have seen the building, in Douglass Road, Dudley, converted into a four-bedroom HMO.

The scheme attracted objections from people in the region who feared the change would lead to a rise in crime.

In a letter objecting to the plan, Ansar Saddique said: “Over the last few years the area has begun to turn into somewhere not nice to live due to houses with individual rooms being let out and absolute havoc it’s causing with extra cars being parked on the roads.

“Anti-social behaviour has been getting worse due to these types of houses.”

Another objector to the scheme, Jenny Ali, said: “The parking is already terrible here, also fire engines and ambulances have been forced to stop and knock on doors because of cars being parked on that corner to turn around. It will be a disaster.”

West Midlands Police also objected to the plan on the grounds of parking and a potential increased demand on their resources.

Plans to make this property on Douglass Road an HMO have been rejected. Photo: Google

Statistics show 46.5 percent of all crime in Dudley is within a quarter of a mile of an HMO, including 39.8 percent of all burglaries, 47.7 percent of all arson and criminal damage, 49.2 percent of all antisocial behaviour, 55.7 percent of all drug offences and 38.9 percent of all vehicle crime.

A report on the Douglass Road application from council planning officers acknowledges the link between HMO’s and crime rates but says there is no specific evidence in relation to this location and police concerns alone would not be enough for refusal.

Planners did however conclude there was not enough parking in the street to take any extra vehicles at an HMO.

The plan was also refused because it did not provide adequate living space, in particular two proposed bedrooms were so small they fell below national guidance.