PLANS to convert former offices into a 28-person house of multiple occupancy (HMO) have been thrown out.

The proposals were for the first and second floors of the three-storey Acorn Business Centre, Fountain Street North, close to Bury town centre.

Applicant Ahktar Ali, who operates three other HMO apartment schemes in Manchester, wished to convert the currently unused space into 28 units for single occupancy.

Planners at Bury Council found several reasons to reject the plans, including that the proposed rooms were ‘too small’.

Documents published by the council from the applicant say: “The application site is located on Fountain Street North where business activities have very low scope and most of the big industrial units have been shut down.

“The building was used as offices before it was permitted the change of use in 2015.

“The previous owner had no proper plan or experience to run such property management business, so he sold the property and current owner, who has vast experience in running such businesses, is willing to change it (to an) HMO.”

A planning report from the council said: “The proposed internal layout would not provide the required level of amenity for the future occupiers.

“The proposed rooms are too small and the proposed bedrooms numbered 1, 2 and 3 on the second floor are not adequately separated.

“In addition, the travel distances from the exit to a room to the nearest stairway are beyond 7.5 metres.

“As such, the proposed development would not satisfy the required fire safety, room size and amenity standard for a mandatory HMO licence.

“The proposed development would be located above a commercial floor and commercial premises on either side, which would generate noise.

“Given that there are no controls over the existing commercial premises, noise levels may deteriorate to a point where action is required under the environment protection legislation.

“If this was the case, the introduction of the proposed residential use would endanger the use of land of employment purposes.”

Planners also said the application contained insufficient information for car parking to be properly assessed.