Sweeping changes to a housing policy that has led to “overcrowding” and “waste” in Bolton could be brought in.

This week, Bolton Council is set to debate plans to restrict the growth of houses of multiple occupancy, known as HMOs, around the borough.

These refer to traditional houses that have been repurposed to become homes for large groups of people.

Cllr Paul Heslop, who represents Kearsley on Bolton Council, said: “We welcome the motion, prior to this we’d tried to get this put before the executive cabinet.

“So we tried to take this through the traditional route.”

The Bolton News: The motion is set to be debated at Bolton Town HallThe motion is set to be debated at Bolton Town Hall (Image: Newsquest)

He added: “We’ve had particular problems with HMOs in Kearsley which have been waste, in some cases you’ve got four different households with one bin.

“There’s been overcrowding and problems with parking.

“A lot of the time, these are traditional terraced houses with maybe three or four cars for one home.”

Bolton has seen several divisive proposals for HMOs in recent months and years, many of which have been rejected for these very reasons.

One example at the start of this year saw a proposal for a seven person HMO on Lower Rawson Street, Farnworth thrown out amid concerns raised by Cllr Nadeem Ayub about the impact on parking, facilities and anti-social behaviour.

Under the current rules, developers need to apply for planning permission from Bolton Council if they intend to convert a normal house into an HMO with more than six bedrooms.

ALSO READ: Crunch vote taken after residents' 'dismay' at controversial 7-bed HMO plan

ALSO READ: Ruling on house conversion plan after concern over 'sheer number of people'

ALSO READ: Plans launched to convert basement into new bedroom in large HMO

This means that even if they are refused permission, they can still proceed with converting the houses into HMOs with less bedrooms.

But other councils such as Manchester and Salford already have policies in place meaning that all applications for HMO conversations between three and six bedrooms must apply through the planning process rather than simply for an HMO licence.

The motion which is set to be put before Bolton Council on Wednesday evening by Cllr Maureen Flitcroft of Farnworth and Kearsley First, who says that housing like this has become particularly prevalent in her area.

If the motion is carried, then it will then be discussed by the council’s Place Policy Development Group.