Salford family cul-de-sac fights seven-bed ‘glorified bedsit’ plans – and wins

Residents said they worried having new shared accommodation on their ‘safe’ street would attract anti-social behaviour and ‘put profit above people.’

A house in Elsham Drive, Little Hulton which has been converted into an HMO. Credit: Salford City Council.

Plans to convert a family home into shared accommodation for seven people have been thrown out following a campaign by neighbours in a Salford street.

The four-bedroom detached house in Little Hulton has already been converted into a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and tenants have now moved in.

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But when landlord House Share 4U Limited requested planning permission to use the property in Elsham Drive as an HMO for seven people, it was refused.

A series of petitions opposing the plans were signed by 62 people in total.

Residents who live on the cul-de-sac spoke at the planning panel meeting on Thursday (November 18) where the decision was made by Salford councillors.

Gill Thompson, who has lived in Elsham Drive for 20 years, said the street has been a ‘safe and lovely community’ for her family – until the HMO came along.

She raised concerns that occupants of the property could be ex-criminals, young offenders or drug users, claiming this is typical of HMO properties.

And she said residents fear they will soon be ‘forced out’ of their homes.

She said: “By letting this development go ahead, you are ripping the heart out of our small community and putting profit above people.

“HMOs have a detrimental impact on communities.

“They belong on high streets in cities – not on a quiet cul-de-sac.”

The residents received support from Little Hulton councillor Rob Sharpe and Worsley and Eccles South MP Barbara Keeley who submitted objections too.

Council officers recommended the planning panel approves the application, reminding members that permission would not be required for a six-bed HMO.

They dismissed concerns about parking – but Labour councillor Philip Cusack questioned why the council relied on estimates when the HMO already exists.

Conservative councillor Bob Clarke said he could not support turning a ‘fine family home’ into a ‘glorified bedsit’ which could end up housing 14 people.

He said: “It’s a community street and we need to maintain it. We have to do the right things sometimes – even if it goes against what the officers say.”

All but one of the councillors on the planning panel voted against the proposal, but the applicant could now appeal the decision to refuse planning permission.