Plans for a 34-room shared house were rejected by Harrow Council amid concerns around living conditions and anti-social behaviour.

Yesterday (May 20), its planning committee – held virtually for the first time – voted to reject plans at Trinity House, in Station Road, Harrow.

Developers hoped to convert the three-storey office block into a five-storey building, housing 34 rooms across two floors in addition to new amenity space for residents.

But the committee backed a motion for refusal put forward by Harrow Conservatives deputy leader Cllr Marilyn Ashton.

“The accommodation is going to be far too intrusive and we already have difficulties with houses in multiple occupation,” she said.

“We have to try hard to find places for people to live but I like to think we would give them some kind of dignity.

“These are not student digs or residential properties and they’re not even affordable.

“It’s not that we are against building in the town centre but this [scheme] is unacceptable.”

She was supported by party colleagues Cllrs Chris Baxter and Anjana Patel as well as the committee’s vice chairman and Labour councillor Ghazanfar Ali.

Cllr Patel suggested the council would be “inviting problems for itself” if it approved the scheme.

And Cllr Ali, who represents Greenhill, the ward housing the site, said he had “very serious concerns” given the amount of complaints relating to anti-social behaviour that arise from such buildings in the area.

Cllrs Sachin Shah and Simon Brown agreed with the council officers’ recommendations and voted in favour of the scheme.

Despite assurances from officers that each room would have its own en suite bathroom, and that this type of accommodation is becoming increasingly “popular” to help address London’s housing crisis, they could not convince the majority of the committee.