Plans to turn a home into a shared house for up to ten people were turned down by Harrow Council.

The council’s planning committee unanimously refused the application in Courtfield Crescent, Harrow, after concerns about the impact the house of multiple occupancy (HMO) would have on the surrounding area.

The applicant said it had consistently worked on the advice of council planning officers and wanted to support the borough’s housing market.

But neighbours and councillors suggested it was out of character for the road and highlighted concerns around a lack of parking with just one space offered as part of the scheme.

Cllr Stephen Greek said his biggest concern surrounded the number of proposed households – five – which he viewed as potentially more damaging to the area than one group from the same family.

Cllr Ghazanfar Ali said it could be open to “overcrowding” which, based on “his experience”, could prove difficult for the council to act upon in the future.

Planning officers judged permission should be granted on the basis it could cope with up to ten people while highways teams were satisfied with the level of parking.

The applicant pointed out all proposals were in line with council advice and said an HMO would “meet distinct needs and reduce pressure on [Harrow’s] housing stock”.

But neighbours were unconvinced and handed in a petition to the council to highlight their concerns around the proposal.

Khimji Pindoria, of Courtfield Crescent, criticised what he saw as a lack of “community involvement” since only two households were consulted.

He added there could be issues with waste collection – given the number of people using the bins – and security with several people coming and going.

“The houses on the crescent are all single-family dwellings and they should remain so. There is a need for HMOs but there is a place for them,” he said.

The building in question was given permission to put in a rear extension in March 2018.

Mr Pindoria said neighbours were “suspicious” of the applicant’s motives and believes it carried out the extension with a future HMO in mind.

Officers pointed out the two applications were independent of each other.