A PLAN to retrospectively allow flats above a shop to be converted into a HMO despite it already existing for more than two-and-a-half-years looks set to be rejected.

Shop owner Tirath Singh, who owns Costcutters on the junction of Solitaire Avenue and Oldbury Road, has asked Worcester City Council for permission to convert flats above the shop into a four-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO) despite it already existing as once since January 2017.

City council planners, who have recommended the plan should be refused, said allowing the HMO to legitimately exist would result in a too-high concentration of HMOs and could potentially cause more noise, anti-social behaviour and nuisance to neighbours.

Planners also said adding an extra bedroom to the HMO would make it too cramped and not give residents "a reasonable level of amenity."

The kitchen within the HMO would also be too cramped, planners said.

The application was called to the planning committee by Councillor Chris Mitchell, who represents St Clement ward and is also chairman of the planning committee, due to a number of objections by neighbours, potential overdevelopment and for the breach of the HMO licence.

The flat currently has a house of multiple occupation (HMO) licence for three people valid until August 2020.

Planning policy officers at Worcester City Council objected to the application saying it would exceed a ten per cent limit for the number of HMOs within a 100-metre radius of the building.

The percentage of HMOs within 100 metres of the shop is already way above the threshold at almost 30 per cent.

Several objections were raised by fed-up neighbours during consultation concerned by the level of HMOs in the area.

Pauline Thomas, who has lived in Solitaire Avenue for 35 years, said the area already enough HMOs and noise was regularly at an “unacceptable level.”

She said it was a “myth” that eight car parking spaces would be made available to residents as they were already used by visitors to the shop, according to a formal objection submitted to city council planners.

The council's planning committee meets on Thursday (September 19).