RESIDENTS in Kingswinford have welcomed news that a bid to convert a house into a house of multiple occupation has been refused.

An application was lodged with Dudley Council planners seeking a lawful development certificate for a two-storey link detached property in Cherry Tree Road to become a six-bed HMO.

Residents, however, objected to the proposal – citing concerns the change would increase crime and traffic on the Blanford Mere estate.

A planning officer’s report said 27 letters of objection were submitted and it concluded: “Due to the borough-wide Article 4 direction that removes the permitted development rights to change the use of a dwelling house to a small HMO, the proposal requires an express grant of planning permission, and a lawful development certificate cannot be issued.”

Community campaigner Shaz Saleem said: "The residents strongly objected to this, and I'm very pleased to report - thanks to Article 4 - the Lawful Development Certificate has been refused.”