RESIDENTS have hit out at plans for the conversion of an “existing HMO” into an eight-bedroom house of multiple occupation, claiming the Failsworth property has “never been” one.

Plans submitted to Oldham Council this month for the conversion of 347 Oldham Road, Failsworth, Oldham from an “existing HMO” with four bedrooms to an “eight bed HMO”, have sparked a showdown.

Four out of the five public comments featured on the Oldham council’s website strongly dispute the planning statement’s claims the property is already an HMO.

One commenter branded the scheme a "total disregard for neighbouring families" who "should be more important than someone's profits" while another urged: "We need to stop these greedy landlords from ruining our area."

In one comment a member of the community claimed: “I am a very close neighbour to this property, it has never been used as an HMO before it had always been occupied by families.”

Another added: “The application says this is existing HMO, it isn't and never has been, it has been let as a family home to only two families in the last 10 years.”

A third said: “This property has always been a family home, never an HMO” and a separate commentor added: “The application states numerous times "conversion of existing HMO". Please do not let a photo of a room number on an internal door fool you, this property has never been used as an HMO."

Other repeated concerns in the comments include that the HMO will bring increased noise, nuisance, traffic, anti-social behaviour, and rubbish to the area.

The planning statement, prepared by the developers Paul Butler Associates on behalf of the applicant, adds that the development will be “targeted at young professionals and key workers” and will provide a “high standard of accommodation”.

The HMO will also meet the housing needs of the borough and provide a “boost” to local shops and business through increased footfall and spending, according to the statement.

The currently vacant property is a brick-built terrace house that backs onto a play area belonging to the KidzMatter day care centre on 339 Oldham Road.

The proposed scheme will involve the alteration of the property to accommodate eight bedrooms, in addition to “generous” communal living space.

The proposals led one commenter to question: “How on earth can anyone possibly fit eight individual residences and the necessary communal spaces in a three bed terrace house?”

Another member of the community said in agreement: “I would object to this being used as even a four bed HMO as I would consider it to be unsuitable, never mind trying to squeeze eight individual residences into a mid-terrace house with very limited outside space”.

A third added: “Living in an identical property to 347, this kind of living just wouldn't work, we struggle with a family of five with very little outdoor space.”

The application comes after a change of use application to convert offices on Union Street in Oldham into a 28-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) was refused by the council on the grounds “cramped living conditions” would be created.

Resident can view and object to planning applications on the Oldham council’s website.