A group of neighbours in Phippsville said they wanted answers as to why a home extension was given permission, without it being sent to the planning board.
The bid to extend the downstairs of an empty four-bedroom house in Woodland Avenue was granted on May 8 by Northampton Borough Council.
But nearby residents feared the developers were ‘laying the grounds’ to turn the property into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO), as its developers, The Mansion Group, are known to have carried out such conversions in the past.
One neighbour, Dr Andrew Jagoe, 50, said: “They’re not changing the official number of ‘bedrooms’, but they are adding rooms downstairs. At a later date they could put six more people in there and they wouldn’t need planning permission.
“Currently we live in an area of family homes and we have a friendly mix on the road. It could become student housing or any other form of HMO and we think that would change the atmosphere.”
A total 14 letters of complaint were sent by neighbours to the borough council, but it did not go to the planning board, where residents would be able to publicly air grievances about the plan.
It was decided by ‘delegated powers’ as the council said the application was only for a lower floor extension and not for an HMO. Councillor Mary Markham, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We cannot speculate on possible uses or intentions of an applicant.” The Chron was unable to obtain a comment from The Mansion Group.