LABOUR councillors in Wollaston have said they will be “strongly objecting” to a plan to turn a former care home in the village into a 23-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).

Wollaston and Stourbridge Town councillors Cat Eccles and Andrew Tromans shared their views on Facebook, saying they plan to object to the proposal regarding the former Rosemary Retirement Home in Vicarage Road.

HS Property Group based in Manchester has applied to Dudley Council for a change of use of the property which has been empty since the care home closed towards the end of 2021 - three months after the Care Quality Commission rated the facility as inadequate.

A design and access statement submitted by P4B Architecture Ltd on behalf of the property group says the use, access, amount, layout scale, appearance and landscape of the proposed development are appropriate and in keeping with the area and “will enhance the amenity of the site, its surrounds and the local community”.

The document states: “The proposed use is as a 23-bed HMO, with all but one of the units being used to live and sleep in by the residents, each room has a dedicated ensuite specifically for that individual.

“The 23rd unit will be a one-bed studio with an ensuite, wet room and kitchen facilities.

“Shared kitchens, facilities and communal dining areas are provided to accommodate sufficient space for the other 22 units, which is outlined as compliant within Dudley’s HMO standards.

“The external area to the rear is not to be altered and is to be maintained and utilised as an amenity space for the residents.

“Each bedroom will be provided with a lockable door, window providing an adequate amount of natural light, space for a wardrobe, and circulation/living space and all are in proximity to required facilities and building exits.

“A local check has identified that there is not a large number of HMOs within the immediate area and therefore the introduction of an HMO here will not cause an over-concentration of them locally.”

The plan proposes just minor alterations internally with no changes to the external elevations, scale or appearance of the building suggested.

The design and access statement adds: “It is not considered that the proposal would result in any neighbouring residents experiencing an unacceptable loss of amenities by virtue of them experiencing a loss of light, privacy and/or any overbearing impact.”

It says the site is “an ideal location to house an HMO, with its previous use being for a large number of residents” and it adds: “The building has been vacant since 2021 and this proposal would put back into use a building that would otherwise remain vacant.”

Cllr Eccles, however, said on Facebook: “Cllr Andrew Tromans and I have a number of concerns about this application and will be strongly objecting.”

She said the main objections relate to fears a HMO would be an overdevelopment of the site and that the proposed facility would create noise nuisance and increase crime and anti-social behaviour in the area and lead to problems with traffic and parking.

The development company behind the plan was founded by Manchester school friends Guy Horne and David Searle as part of a desire to try to solve the UK’s homeless crisis, the property group’s website states. To find out more visit

Anyone wishing to have a say on the plan (P23/1229) can do so via the planning portal on Dudley Council’s website.

No objections have been published to date.

An online Zoom meeting is reportedly due to be held tonight at 6pm with Cllr Tromans set to discuss the application with concerns relatives.