A FAMILY of nine living in a three-bedroom house have been told they cannot move into a larger home because of overcrowding fears.

Lindsay and Justin Pritchard and their seven children have been on West Oxfordshire District Council’s housing list for four years.

The council recognises they are living in overcrowded accommodation but when Mrs Pritchard arranged to swap her home for a four-bedroom house in Bampton, Oxford Citizens Housing Association told her it would not allow it.

Mrs Pritchard, 28, of Fox Close, Bampton, said: “We are really struggling with space.

“It’s so cramped.”

Philip Brady, Ocha’s head of neighbourhood services, said the other house was too small, and added: “It would not have solved the problem as it would still be overcrowding.”

A council spokesman said suitable properties for the family rarely become vacant.

Housing charity Shelter said families in over-crowded rented homes often had to wait years to find a suitable-sized home.