Residents in Bury have vented their frustration after bedsit plans were approved last night, Tuesday, for two former care homes despite hundreds of objections.

The council’s planning committee gave the go ahead for the former Moorfields residential care home on Tottington Road to be redeveloped into a house in multiple occupation (HMO).

The home closed unexpectedly in October 2023 along with Elizabeth House on Walshaw Road, which is also set to become a HMO.

Plans for the 16-bed shared accommodation at Moorfields, which will see people of multiple households living under the same roof with some shared facilities, received 272 objections and just six representations in support.

And the Elizabeth House 13-bed HMO proposals attracted 125 objections.

Residents raised concerns around parking in an area with limited space for cars, the risk of anti-social behaviour as well as the ethics of the development, in which some residents will be forced to share bathroom facilities.

Darren Ramsey, who has lived opposite the Moorfields site on Darlington Close for 19 years, said he felt residents had not been listened to over the plans.

Bury Times: Elizabeth House, on Walshaw RoadElizabeth House, on Walshaw Road (Image: Newsquest)

Darren, 59, said: “It has been a residential home for as long as anybody can remember, it’s a nice location and we’ve been living here since the early 90s.

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“There is literally no parking in the area, the two existing housing estates will be inundated with cars, if there are an extra 10 or 15 cars, where is everyone going to park?

“In the 21st century it's utterly disgraceful. I’m not totally against HMOs but they have to be in the right location. To put it in the outskirts of Tottington is outrageous.

“Two hundred and seventy two people (objecting) in this little part of Bury is a lot."

At the planning meeting on Tuesday, a representative speaking in favour of the plans said the Moorfields property would be used to house "professionals aged between 30 to 60" and added that accommodation would not be used to house asylum seekers, ex-prisoners or students.

Councillors including Elton representative Charlotte Morris and Tottington Cllr Luis McBriar also voiced concerns.

Cllr McBriar said the development is "not in-keeping with the area" and expressed concern about anti-social behaviour

He added: “I have serious concerns about this, I hear the arguments that we need housing, yes we do, we need affordable housing, this will not answer this issue. 

"This will be short term living spaces for residents who won’t be staying there for a long period of time, that is not helping the housing issues that we have.”

Bury Times: Moorfields residential care home onTottington RoadMoorfields residential care home onTottington Road (Image: Newsquest)

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Cllr Morris said the development "contravened the council’s own planning policy" and queried why the plans had been recommended for approval, when a similar HMO, on Stand Lane in Radcliffe, has been rejected.

She added: “I was really surprised to see this recommended for approval. This application actually contradicts the one of the council’s own planning policies.

“It is not unreasonable to consider the impact of this application on particularly immediately neighbouring properties.

“It is not unreasonable to suggest there could be problems with anti-social behaviour with a HMO. I don’t sit here tonight and say every HMO comes with these issues, I sit here tonight to say every HMO ‘could'."

Other members expressed concerns that the applicant would have grounds to appeal should the application be rejected.

The change of use applications were approved marginally by six votes to five.