Residents in Selly Oak have witnessed a huge rush to turn family homes into student apartments ahead of the introduction of new planning restrictions at the end of the month.

Modest Victorian semi-detached and terraced houses are being expanded with attic conversions and even garden outbuildings designed to cram more students in.

The relaxation in planning rules around extensions and the snail's pace at which council enforcement takes place means many landlords are making a killing every time they squeeze an extra couple of rooms into a property.

But they are causing misery for neighbours and the huge blocks have caused consternation on Birmingham's planning committee, where they were likened to Brazilian favellas.

Resident Pat Davis, of Gristhorpe Road, said: "These builders are ignoring the planning rules and are just out to make money, with no consideration for other residents.

"Whilst the alterations are done there is extra traffic – lorries and vans all day, then skips galore – making it impossible to park anywhere. Then, when it's finished there'll be more cars."

Neighbour Meridith Andrea said residents had seen an acceleration in development in recent weeks. "There are massive extensions being hurriedly constructed at the back of three modest houses, turning them into large houses of multiple occupation.

"This will seriously undermine the structure of the community, adding to an already difficult parking situation, and resulting in a street where neighbours are strangers. Development has mushroomed out of control in the last three months."

They also have little faith that, if the extensions are deemed illegal, something will be done.

One company, behind three developments in the street has not replied to the Post's enquiries and neither has the landlord of a controversial property nearby at 223 Tiverton Road (pictured).

This small terraced property boasts a three-storey rear extension which, at ground floor level, goes back 30ft.

In this case, the council planning department ordered the landlord, Ikhlaq Hussain, to reel the extension back in.

However, he has now secured a compromised planning application under which a more modest extension will be retained.

James O'Callagahan, who has lived next door for 25 years, said the monstrosity had made his family's life a nightmare for the last year or so from building disturbance, water damage to his house from poor drainage and the exhaustion of having to battle the plans at every turn.

"It's caused no end of trouble," he said.