Mini army of neighbours in last ditch attempt to prevent Milton Keynes HMO plan

A total of 150 objections have been lodged with the council over a plan for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Milton Keynes.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 3:24 pm

Planning officers at MK Council have recommended approval for David Wright’s proposal to create a five bed house in multiple occupation (HMO) in Farjeon Court, Old Farm Park.

Earlier plans to create a HMO with eight beds had been refused by the council and its decision was upheld by a Government planning inspector at appeal.

But the number of proposed bedrooms was cut to five and the applicant, David Wright, is making the case that its use as a five-bed HMO “would have no greater impact on the character or appearance of the area, or upon the residential amenities of the neighbouring properties than the existing use.”

Farjeon Court in Old Farm Park (Google)
Farjeon Court in Old Farm Park (Google)

But scores of objections on the council’s website, from councillors, a community council, neighbours and residents in nearby streets, beg to differ.

“It’s my very real belief that by approving this application, this will open the floodgates for further applications for HMO’s in the area,” says one objector.

“Once the precedent has been set, it’s inherently difficult to refuse any similar request.”

The objector adds: “Old Farm Park is a neighbourhood of family homes, and does not in any way lend itself to HMOs.

“With the addition of Church Farm – 350 properties -as well as other proposed large developments, the local infrastructure is already creaking under the weight, so to add yet even further pressure is clearly not acceptable.”

One of the issues at the heart of the matter is parking and whether there is enough space.

Objectors argue that proposed spaces are too small and that cars will have to park on the street and overhang the pavements.

But in recommending giving the green light, planning officers say the large two storey detached house already has six bedrooms.

It had they been operating unlawfully as a HMO before being stopped by planning enforcement.

Highways officers say the four parking spaces proposed for the driveway “do not fully comply with parking requirements.”

But they add that “it would not be possible to demonstrate that the shortcoming would cause an unacceptable impact on highway safety.”

Planners also say that HMOs are acceptable as they “contribute to the creation of mixed, balanced and inclusive communities.”

They say it would not create “an over concentration of HMOs in the area that would result in an adverse imbalance within the local community.”

Planners also say an attempt to limit the number of people in the HMO by a planning condition would be ”unenforceable and cannot be conditioned.”

Three local borough councillors and Walton Community Council asked for the plan to be decided by MK Council’s development control panel.

The meeting will be held from 7pm on Thursday (June 17).