An application to carve up a family home for use as a House of Multiple Occupancy for six people has been refused by the council.

This is believed to be one of the first application where a proposed HMO has been challenged in Thornton Heath using new planning guidance introduced after a year long consultation exercise.

Sue Balmer, of property management company Trevelyan Tooting Ltd based in Brixton, put in the application for change of use to turn the three storey five bedroom terraced house at 31 Norfolk Road in to a HMO for six occupants.

The 16 objectors cited: too many HMO’s already in the area, which were not properly maintained and the loss of a family home.

Previously multi-bedroom properties could be converted to small HMOs (houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals) under permitted development – which meant planning consent was not required for the change.

But the recent introduction of Article 4 by the council after a two year campaign by local people removes this ability, requiring owners to seek planning permission for the change of use.

In refusing the application the planning officer Sera Elobisi says that the: development would fail to provide a replacement family dwelling conflicting with the Croydon Local Plan and London Plan.

It was also refused because of sub-standard accommodation with inadequate floorspace for the proposed self-contained studio unit in bedroom three contrary to the national space standards. There was also a failure to provide off-street parking or cycling provision.