A FAMILY could be facing eviction after the council allowed a home to be converted into a four-bed HMO for student accommodation.

A plan to convert a three-bed home in Windsor Avenue in Worcester into a four-bed house of multiple occupation (HMO) went before council planners last November but a decision was delayed to allow the council to ensure its calculations on the number of HMOs in a certain area were airtight.

Cllr Richard Udall, who represents St John's, pleaded with Worcester City Council’s planning committee to not make an already bad situation worse and reject the plan. He said families are being driven out of the area and a family living in the home could face eviction if it was allowed to be converted into a four-bed HMO.

There is a ten per cent limit for the number of HMOs allowed within a 100-metre radius of where the planned HMO would sit.

Cllr Udall said the border used to calculate the limit and percentage of HMOs was so close it was a matter of drawing certain lines through certain parts of a home which drew different conclusions, at a meeting of the city council's planning committee last Thursday (January 23).

He said: “It is a very marginal case and is literally millimetres away from being recommended for refusal.”

He said the number of HMOs in St John’s, largely occupied by students, had caused “significant social problems” in those streets and “harm to amenities” for families and other residents. He said an imbalance already existed in St John’s and another HMO would create further harm and more HMOs would “permanently damage” the character of the area.

Oldbury Park Primary School in Oldbury Road was also concerned by the plan as it would reduce the number of family homes within its catchment area having already seen a fall in numbers due to the rise of HMOs, Cllr Udall said.

Cllr Udall said Windsor Avenue was already a “parking nightmare” and would be made worse by another HMO.

Cllr Mike Johnson was concerned that altering the rule slightly would open a floodgate for HMO landlords who had seen their expansion plans rejected to argue it was done so wrongly.

"Yes the rule in this case is very marginal but that's the nature of rules," he said.

"You're either one side of the line or you're not and I do not believe we should start tampering with an existing mechanism.

"It's a very dangerous precedent, although I sympathise."