THERE has been a backlash against two planned eight-bedroom HMOs in Old Town.

At the two properties – 34 Dover Street and 27 Prospect Hill – developers want to create more shared housing by erecting extensions to each building. This will provide two more rooms and increase the number from from six to eight.

But neighbours and the parish council agree the plans would be bad for the area and have levelled heavy criticism at the projects.

Robert Robson, who lives on Prospect Hill, said: “The area is already a very densely populated street of mainly two-bedroomed Victorian terraces.

“Previous HMOs (houses in multiple occupancy) have greatly added to the pressures placed on both residents in terms of parking, as well as rubbish storage and collection.

“These planning applications set a worrying precedent for non-resident landlords and developers who are playing fast and loose purely for commercial purposes and who care little or not at all about the practical and social impacts of trying to cram more people into a set property in order to earn even more retail income.”

Dover Street neighbour Jade Michael said: “When it comes to shared houses there will be rubbish everywhere. If the people there are only going to be staying a few nights, they’re not really going to care what happens. And parking would be a nightmare, we already struggle as it is so to have even more cars would be horrific.”

South Swindon Parish Council has its own concerns about the plans.

At Dover Street, objections were made due to the basement bedroom not having a window for light or ventilation. It is currently blocked by the path outside and plans were criticised for showing no rubbish storage, with details only being “sketched on the pavement area with a side note stating ‘rubbish bag collection on bin day’’’.

The parish council’s main criticism of the proposal at Prospect Hill is the size of the shared living space. The current plans for the house mean it does not meet the standards required for the number of occupants.

In response to both plans, it said: “It remains policy to object to additional house of multiple occupation application within the Central and Eastcott wards as the nominal threshold has been reached and it is deemed that they will have a detrimental effect on services, space and quality in the area.”

Alongside the two HMOs, the parish has received two further applications.

The new plans are for a house at 178 Victoria Road and 7A Hythe Road, both in Old Town, and will provide 19 rooms.