Solihull neighbours launch a petition against plans for a fourth HMO on their road

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Neighbours on a road of 13 homes in Solihull are petitioning against plans for a fourth House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Residents are opposing a fourth HMO in their street saying the housing shake-up is changing the character of their area. 

But the Shirley residents were dealt a blow as a councillor said no action would be taken as there was no wider issue with House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Solihull

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Concerns were raised when homeowners in Lindridge Road learned a three-bedroom semi-detached house went on the market last year advertised as a possible eight-bedroom HMO. Residents said it would be the fourth HMO in a row of just 13 homes as there were currently two HMOs in their street with another under construction.

Coun Max McLoughlin, whose Shirley South ward contains Lindridge Road, said residents raised concerns about anti-social behaviour, lack of parking and that it was changing the nature of their street. 

Last December he presented a petition signed by 42 residents to Solihull Council which requested the council “addressed the intensity of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in our street”. 

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The petition said: “We understand the need for diversity of housing, but the concentration of HMOs in the street is reducing the amenity we enjoy from our residence and adversely impacting the character of the road.”

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The petition went to Coun Andy Mackiewicz, cabinet member for climate change and planning, who followed an officer’s advice and ruled out taking immediate action. 

At the latest full council meeting Coun McLoughlin raised the issue again. He said: “I know of no other road within my ward with this level of intensity of HMOs. This is a specific case and I don’t know if there is anything further that can be done for residents in Lindridge Road.”

In response Coun Mackiewicz replied: “I did consider that petition and obviously as a planning matter I have to follow the officer's advice. 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.”

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Following the meeting Coun McLoughlin told the Local Democracy Reporter service he would continue to put pressure on Solihull Council to act and would raise the issue again after May’s local elections.  The council meeting was held April 9 in the Civic Suite.

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