Solihull sex parties and parking rows on ‘HMO street’ which was a tranquil road

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Neighbours on a Solihull road dubbed ‘HMO street’ complain about sex parties and rows about parking

Residents in a once-tranquil Solihull road now nicknamed ‘HMO street’ claimed they were having to put up with sex parties, arguments in the road and parking problems.

Residents who have lived in a leafy part of Shirley for 50 years said they used to love their area as it was perfect with shops and the railway station all within walking distance. 

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But Lindridge Road homeowners say they were now stressed by alleged anti-social behaviour, prostitution and parking issues they alleged were linked to the properties. 

The street already has two ‘House of Multiple Occupation’ (HMOs) with a third being built. And residents launched a petition when a three-bedroom semi-detached house went on the market last year advertised as a possible eight-bedroom HMO, which would bring the number to four.

Lindridge Road in Shirley, SolihullLindridge Road in Shirley, Solihull
Lindridge Road in Shirley, Solihull | LDRS

Residents, who wanted to remain anonymous, told us they wanted to see councillors act but were not hopeful. One woman living in the street said: “It’s so wrong, these are family homes.

“Having HMOs is devaluing our properties. If it had been Solihull, I don’t think they would have stood for it – passed to Shirley the poor neighbour. It’s crazy, it is ‘HMO street’ – over the years the area has gone down and down.”

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She said parking had been an issue with her drive being blocked on one occasion. “Where will all the cars go?” she said. “I could see the green (at the bottom of the road) being turned into a massive car park.”

‘There have been sex parties in the street’

Another resident said despite signing petitions, opposing HMOs in the past and calling the police “nothing ever happens”. He said he had argued with an HMO resident and claimed there had been sex parties in the street recently. “You have  people with kids in this street, and that is happening,” he said. “It was just a normal street, not now.”

Another resident told us: “You would not believe it really – we have always been laid back and we let things go.  We are among the longest here, we have been here 51 years.  It was a community, but people don’t want to know now. It’s sad. 

“It used to be there was always somebody you could knock the door on if you were in trouble. Those times are gone. It’s changed. People can’t sell their properties around here if they try to move.”

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Lindrige Road in Shirley, SolihullLindrige Road in Shirley, Solihull
Lindrige Road in Shirley, Solihull | LDRS

The Local Democracy Reporter Service told this week how residents’ campaigning against the fourth proposed HMO had been dealt a blow as a leading councillor said no action would be taken.

At a full council meeting earlier this month, Coun Andy Mackiewicz, cabinet member for climate change and planning, explained why. “I did consider that petition and obviously as a planning matter I have to follow officer’s advice,” Coun Mackiewicz said. “I understand the concern of people but as a borough we have very few HMOs in total. When I look at the map they are not clustered anywhere specifically. But we will keep a constant review of this situation.

“A house of multiple occupation of four people in – it’s no different to a house with five people in, in terms of impact. The other thing to be mindful of is people for whom a HMO is the only way they can start to have their own place to live.”

Lindridge Road, Shirley, SolihullLindridge Road, Shirley, Solihull
Lindridge Road, Shirley, Solihull | LDRS

Coun Max McLoughlin, whose Shirley South ward contains Lindridge Road and who presented the petition to Solihull Council, said he would continue to put pressure on the authority to act and would raise the issue again after May’s local elections.

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Insp Asif Iqbal, from Solihull Local Policing Area, said: “We know the hassle and distress persistent anti-social behaviour can cause and regularly take action where and when we receive reports.

“Our neighbourhood teams regularly adapt their patrol plans wherever issues are raised, with regular activity by our priorities team to take action against properties believed to be involved in criminal activity.

“Our work often involves partner agencies including housing providers, the local authority and our colleagues from other emergency services. We respond to any reports of crime and anti-social behaviour we receive, but we do often rely on the public for information.”

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