A CONTROVERSIAL plan to create a home to house multiple residents – which split opinion in a Dudley area – has been given the go-ahead.

Members of Dudley Council’s development control committee agreed for the conversion of the property in The Parade to become a HMO (house in multiple occupation) at a meeting on Wednesday (June 2).

Work will involve creating extensions to the side and rear of the semi-detached property and turn it into a five room HMO.

Originally, the proposal was to create a seven-bedroom property but this was opposed by dozens of residents, planning officers, highways and police which prompted a rethink to reduce the size.

At the meeting, planners said formal approval to change the property into a HMO was no longer required as developers are allowed conversions of up to six rooms without needing planning permission.

Officers added neither the highways department or West Midlands Police had any material planning reasons to object to the proposed extension in the amended scheme.

When the plan was first put forward, residents objected citing a range of concerns including increased crime, parking issues, noise and a loss of privacy.

West Midlands Police did raise concerns about it being a high crime area and the HMO potentially adding to demand on their resources.

But others supported the proposed investment and argued it was unfair to assume people moving in would be criminals.

Mr Atwal said since the plans were put forward, people had been taking pictures of the property and his family – resulting in him filing a complaint to the police.

He added he had no intention of harming the area with his development, which had been designed by a reputable architect with off-road parking provided.

Members of the committee voted unanimously in favour of the extension to create the HMO at the meeting.