A DEVELOPER was criticised for trying to squeeze too many flats into a building at the expense of the people already living there.

Plans to build a wider two-storey extension to a Victorian building in Bromyard Road in Worcester to allow more flats was rejected by Worcester City Council over fears it would be too cramped and have a negative effect on people living there.

An appeal was also thrown out by a government planning inspector saying the lack of windows in parts of the extension would be "oppressive" and lead to a loss of privacy for many of the people living there.

The plan was rejected by the city council earlier this year with planning officers saying they had “significant concerns” over the plan.

Officers said developer Paul Brooks had prioritised building more flats at the expense of the people already living in the building.

Officers also said the new buildings would be inadequate for people to live in and natural light would be poor in some of the buildings for most of the day.

The building currently houses seven flats and the extension and other work would have provided another four.

A report setting out the council’s objection said: “The proposed extension seeks to increase the capacity of the site to provide accommodation, however, fails to do this in a positive way or with consideration to the amenity of existing or future residents or to neighbouring properties.

“The desire to provide additional units has led to a design which does not respect the positive elements of the site, but to maximise development opportunity, albeit to the detriment of the residents in the existing units.”

Council planning officers said the plan might have been supported if the design and quality had been improved by the work but it was felt the extension would make things worse.

A government planning inspector also highlighted the loss of privacy for many of the people living in the flats if the extension was allowed to be built.

The inspector's report said: The proposal would remove the kitchen window and use the parking space as an entrance way to the new flats.

"This would result in four households walking in proximity to the bedroom window, and a significant reduction in privacy for the occupants.

"The rear window in the bedroom opens on to a side passage for access to another apartment, and the proposal would therefore result in the complete loss of privacy in this bedroom."