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Concerns over six-bedroom HMO plan near city landmark

Concerns have been raised over proposals to turn a property into a six-bedroom house of multiple occupation.

The address in Aston Lane, Aston, near Villa Park, currently has three bedrooms and has been empty for six months, according to council documents.

HMOs are commonly for tenants including ex-offenders, people with drug and alcohol issues, refugees, care leavers, vulnerable people with learning difficulties and mental health issues.

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They can also house frail elderly people and women at risk of domestic violence.

However residents, councillors and MPs have complained of the quality of care in HMOs and the impact on neighbourhoods.

Birmingham City Council floor plans for proposed HMO

Rykha Ghani, 40, a Broadway Road resident said of the application: “As a single mother I am very concerned. I believe it will increase drug use and crimes in the area.

“We already have enough HMOs here.

“It has been a struggle for us, we previously lived on Stoneleigh Road where we saw a lot of late-night police visits because of noise and fights between HMO residents.

“We were forced to move a few streets down to Broadway Road where it isn’t so bad. But with this application it feels like we are back to square one.

“It is difficult and scary, we have to sleep with one eye open.”

Another resident, who would only be named as Imran 35, said: “Should we have another HMO? No. However there are so many now I just think, what difference will it make?

“Its like having lots of rubbish on the floor, if you throw some more it won’t look any different.

“There are so many HMOs on every street now.”

“Either close them down or regulate them. Residents at these properties come with a multitude of needs and often participate in anti-social behaviour, drugs and fights.

“This needs to be taken seriously or local residents will take action.”

Planning application documents for Aston Lane can be viewed here with reference number 2021/05383/PA.

Members of the public can comment on the application until September 20.

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