A planning inspector has criticised a developer for not providing a big enough garden as part of a move to extend an HMO.

Worcester City Council rejected an application to build a bigger extension to create a seven-bed house of multiple occupation (HMO) in Martley Road in Worcester.

That ruling has been reinforced by a government planning inspector who threw out an appeal following an attempt by developer Bidsid to get the decision overturned.

The front ‘garden’ at the HMO on the corner of Martley Road and Fern Road in Worcester would have been more than halved in size and a grass area – which was artificial grass – would have been removed to make way for more parking spaces, according to the application.

The inspector said the tiny front ‘garden’ would have been pushed closer to a busy main road, bus stop and row of shops.

This, combined with the lack of privacy in the front garden and the ‘inadequate’ back garden, meant he could not overrule the council.

The combined size of the garden at the HMO would have fallen from around 285 square metres to 125 square metres to make way for the two-storey extension – meaning more bedrooms and people but less outdoor space.

The council’s planning committee had approved an application to build a single-storey extension to the five-bed HMO last year but without finishing the first extension, the developer Bidsid then asked for permission to add another storey to create a seven-bed HMO.

The city council had raised no issues with the extension for a seven-bed HMO but had concerns about the lack of garden space.

The inspector said the single-storey extension to make the building a six-bed HMO had not been finished during a visit to Martley Road and the developer had said it would demolish a garage to create more back garden space.

However, the inspector said Bidsid’s plans were “poor quality” and did not show what would be built clearly and the back garden had an “ambiguous and contorted configuration.”

The council’s planning committee did give the green light for a ground-floor extension last year – despite councillors labelling the HMO “absolutely monstrous, hideous and ugly.”

An application by Bidsid for Worcester City Council to pay its costs was also rejected by the government planning inspector.