Residents and businesses in Worksop say they are ‘worried’ after plans for a new house in multiple occupation (HMO) were given the green light.
Blueprints to transform the Dukeries Park Hotel, on Park Street, into an 11-bedroom HMO were approved last week.
Homeowners and businesses nearby have raised concerns at the proposals, which will see the HMO accommodate up to 20 people, as it sends the ‘wrong message’ to potential investors.
Fears are heightened as squatters have also allegedly been seen at the rear of The Friar Tuck pub, opposite where the HMO would be located.
Council bosses have responded by saying that it was the view of the planning committee that the HMO would not cause ‘significant additional harm’.
Paul Dimelow, 48, who has lived on Park Street for around nine years, said: “Everybody is concerned, we are all worried.”
“It has taken over our lives.”
“My wife is upset, she doesn’t feel like she can invite anybody around because she is ashamed.”
“I think if we tried to sell our house at the minute we wouldn’t be able to.”
“At the moment it is not a nice place to be.”
Karen McSweeney, 59, who has just bought a property in the area, said: “It is sad really.”
“Worksop is lovely, it should go back to being the historic market town which attracted people all over to visit.”
A petition against the HMO was signed by 62 people and 14 objections were submitted to Bassetlaw District Council.
The final vote at the meeting on Wednesday 1st July was tied at four votes for and against, so the deciding vote went to Coun Helen Richards, chair of the planning committee. The vote at the previous meeting on 3rd June, where residents raised issues surrounding the HMO like anti-social behaviour, lack of parking and de-valuation of properties, had not been carried out correctly.
Tony Brammer, who lives on Park Street and owns Piccolo Espresso Bar on Bridge Street, said: “The council are sending a lot of mixed messages.”
“One half wants to regenerate the area and the other does not.”
“They have not taken all things into consideration.”
“We are a conservation area. That means it is a heritage asset. Where does the HMO fit into that? It is scary.”