Coffee shop in Milton Keynes given permission to continue

Stony Stratford High Street
Stony Stratford High Street

A coffee shop has been given permission to continue to operate in Stony Stratford’s high street, despite objections.

The town’s council and several residents told Milton Keynes Council planners that they didn’t want another coffee shop in Stony Stratford, especially because Caffe Latte was operating in a shop unit.
But supporters of Yakup Zemen’s application for retrospective permission to change the use argued that it was bringing a vacant unit back into use after it had lain empty for 18 months.

Milton Keynes Council’s development control panel was called on to decide which side to support at a meeting on Thursday (Sept 19). No members of the public were there to make the case either way.

Cllr Ric Brackenbury (Lib Dem, Campbell Park & Old Woughton) said he agreed with a recommendation to grant permission because the former butcher’s shop had been empty for so long.

And Cllr Keith McLean (Cons, Olney) said he suspected other shops in the town would benefit from the customers who use Caffe Latte. “It is difficult to think of any reasons to refuse this application,” he said.

The four members of the panel voted to approve the change of use application.

Panel members also made a number of other decisions on Thursday. These included:

> A plan for a two-storey rear and first floor side extensions at a house in Rutherford Gate, Shenley Lodge, were refused after committee chairman Cllr John Bint (Cons, Broughton) used his casting vote following a two-all tie.

Neighbours, including from an energy efficient property called The Round House, which was designed not to have curtains, argued that they would be overlooked. Councillors agreed with the neighbours, despite their own officers recommending permission.

> Committee chairman Cllr Bint declared an interest and left the room to let the three remaining councillors make a decision on whether to allow a large detached garage to be turned into a house at Hazeldene House, in London Road, Broughton.

Council officers, who had taken the issue to the panel because of Cllr Bint’s interest, recommended that permission be given to the plan. The house sits in a conservation area and neighbours had objected because of overlooking.

Cllr Brackenbury said he thought there would be overlooking but “not enough to refuse permission.” And Cllr McClean, who was in the chair for the panel to decide the issue, said he thought the plan was a “reasonable proposal.”

The three councillors unanimously agreed to approve the application.

> A tree preservation order has been permanently placed on a large silver birch tree in Station Road, Woburn Sands, despite the council already giving itself permission to chop it down.

Councillors were told by planning officer Luke Gledhill that a temporary tree preservation order was placed on the tree, which they now need to make permanent to ensure that the silver birch could be replaced in the conservation area.

The issue was brought to the panel be decided by councillors after an objection was raised from someone in the Dunstable area.

The panel of four councillors agreed unanimously to approve a permanent tree preservation order.