A plan to turn a former pub into a multiple occupancy home has been voted through, despite local fears about the disruption it might cause.

By nine votes to one, Wirral Council’s planning committee voted to approve the plan at the site of The Warwick, a former pub on Westbourne Road in Birkenhead.

Labour councillor Paul Stuart was the only one to object.

Julie Murphy, a local resident, said she would not feel safe if the plan was approved, saying she did not want 11 strangers to be able to see into her bedroom.

She asked who was going to live there and how the property would be policed.

Ms Murphy said that a lot of the local residents were homeowners and were “worried sick” about the plan for the former pub.

Reflecting these concerns, a petition with 55 signatures was submitted against the proposal.

Cllr Pat Cleary, who represents Birkenhead and Tranmere, also had serious concerns with the plan.

Cllr Cleary said there was a very small amount of amenity space available to residents and that the size of the bedrooms, which was just over the legal minimum, suggested the applicant was trying to extract as much value from the property as possible.

The applicant, Joel Waller, stated that he thought the vast majority of would-be tenants would not own cars, but Cllr Cleary disagreed.

He noted the fact that Mr Waller said there was a good chance that tenants would be key workers.

Cllr Cleary said many of them may work awkward shift patterns at times when public transport was not available, meaning they would have to use cars.

This, he said, could create a parking problem in the area.

Cllr Cleary also reflected on concerns by police about other former pubs nearby, The Vale and The Carlton, which had been converted to residential properties.

However, it was later noted that these pubs were converted into self-contained flats, not multiple occupancy homes (HMOs), so were not subject to the same licensing rules.

Mr Waller said that nine of the 11 bedrooms in the property had ensuite bathrooms and that the communal areas were two or three times as big as they were legally required to be, meaning he was not simply trying to extract the maximum possible value from the property.

He added that the property was at the middle to top end of the HMO market.

Brian Kenny and Steve Foulkes, both Labour councillors who voted in favour of the plan, expressed surprise that Cllr Cleary was worried about parking issues when he has regularly campaigned against car travel and in favour of other, more sustainable forms of transport.

Conservative councillor Kathy Hodson said although she is not a “total fan” of HMOs, this application was one of the best she had seen and that nine out of 11 having ensuite bathrooms was as good as the council could expect.

Cllr Hodson said she had lived in some places which had no amenity space earlier in her life and that such accommodation was a vital rung on the ladder for some which can suffice for a particular period.