A CONTROVERSIAL scheme to convert a former pub into a home for 12 residents has been slammed by civic leaders.

The plan, to convert a derelict building which was once the Crown pub in Lower Gornal into a house of multiple occupation (HMO), has also been condemned by residents.

Simpatico Town Planning has applied to Dudley Council for permission to transform the building, on Holloway Street, saying it would bring the dilapidated site back to life.

In their application, Simpatico said: “The scheme would bring about the restoration and modernisation of the building and the tidying of the wider site, in a manner which would be sensitive and sympathetic in heritage terms.”

Objectors claim the development would cause traffic congestion and put pressure on local amenities.

Ward councillor Adam Aston said: “Vehicular movements around the site once occupied are likely to be hugely increased which will cause a disturbance and detriment to the neighbourhood.”

Dudley North MP, Marco Longhi, said: “When HMOs are developed, there can tend to be an increase in anti-social behaviour in the area, which can become a significant nuisance for local people.

“These proposals will also increase congestion in the area and are likely to cause parking issues.”

Dudley councillors Damian Corfield and Claire Sullivan have also voiced their concerns about the development.

The plan has attracted more than 20 letters of objection from people living in Holloway Street and the surrounding roads.

Developers claim they have provided adequate parking at the site of the nineteenth century building which was most recently occupied by a swimming pool business.

The site is also close to the grade II listed Ruiton Chapel which is partly constructed from locally quarried Gornal Stone.

The local stone appears in a number of buildings which contribute to the region being classified as an area of high historic townscape value.

In their statement to council planners, Simpatico say: “The scheme would be self-sufficient in terms of parking provision, causing no harm in terms of displacement of vehicles onto the public highway.”