Norwich couple investing in Wisbech property want to turn illegal 12 bed HMO into seven double rooms for up to 14 tenants

Richard and Clare Lilley (right) who have bought this Wisbech house and want to license it as an HMO

Richard and Clare Lilley (right) who have bought this Wisbech house and want to license it as an HMO for up to 14 people. Picture; FACEBOOK/FDC - Credit: Archant

A couple whose goal is providing “fantastic accommodation for our customers” hope to turn an unauthorised 12 bedroom HMO in Wisbech into home for up to 14 tenants,

Richard and Clare Lilley have bought the estimated £250,000 home in Colville Road and have submitted plans to Fenland Council to end its illegal status.

The house has been used "as an unauthorised, 12 bedroom HMO since the early 90s with no enforcement action" says their agent Peter Humphrey Associates.

"And there have been no local resident complaints regarding noise and disturbance."

He's told Fenland Council that the Lilleys want to convert the house - advertised as having five bedrooms and three reception rooms - in a seven bedroom HMO "and ensures that it abides by the law."

Partition walls will break up the existing lay out and the house will end up with three shower rooms, one en-suite bedroom, three bedrooms on the ground floor and four on the first floor.

HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) must be registered and Mr Humphreys says his clients have a business model where they engage with "good quality lettings".

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On their Facebook page, Lilley Investments Ltd, the couple say they are Wisbech property investors whose strategy is to improve the standard of multi-let and buy to let properties in the town.

Mr Humphrey says the conversion work at Colville Road will provide seven "spacious bedrooms to seven tenants as we anticipate".

However he says "it is understandable that some occupants might have partners and therefore we propose that the maximum number of occupants to be 14".

Not all neighbours are happy, with four expressing their concerns to Fenland Council.

Traffic is already an issue, says one, and allowing up to 14 people to live at No 22 "would increase this problem".

Another says "more people coming and going will also cause extra noise".

A third has listed anti social behaviour, density, noise, waste, litter and environmental concerns for the application to fail.

"Great, just what's needed next door - can't wait for all the noise, cars and coming and goings. I see from the Lilleys promotional spiel their great passion for improving housing.

"I take it they don't personally live next to 14 people."