Pavement peril fear persuades inspector to throw out Milton Keynes HMO plans

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Plans for two houses in multiple occupation (HMO) in Milton Keynes have been thrown out by a Government inspector over a lack of parking.

Inspector Anne Denby sided with the council’s parking policies to reject proposals for a four bed HMO in Broughton and an eight-bed HMO in Old Farm Park.

When she visited the city on December 11, in both areas she found vehicles parked “inappropriately, partially on the footpath, in an attempt to avoid obstructing two-way traffic.

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She added: “This leaves little or no room for pedestrians, particularly those with pushchairs or in wheelchairs to pass, and adversely impacts on visibility and safe manoeuvrability of vehicles.”

Wenford in BroughtonWenford in Broughton
Wenford in Broughton

Tunde Adio had appealed to the Government after the council refused to give him planning permission for a four-bed HMO to be formed at the three storey house in Wenford, Broughton.

The applicant had proposed using two spaces in tandem but provided “no further details”, the inspector said.

“Where tandem parking is proposed additional convenient on-street parking is required,” she said.

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She concluded that “further inappropriate parking” would affect “visibility and the manoeuvrability of vehicles and this could lead to conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles to the detriment of highway safety.”

Farjeon Court, Old Farm ParkFarjeon Court, Old Farm Park
Farjeon Court, Old Farm Park

She found that the benefits in providing affordable accommodation would not outweigh the “harm”.

In a second appeal at Farjeon Court, a cul-de-sac in Old Farm Park, David Wright had appealed after the council refused his eight-bed HMO plan for a large detached house on August 11.

The plan would need seven parking spaces, but only had two on the site with the possibility of another two if the landscaping was changed.

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She ruled: “This could lead to conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles to the detriment of highway safety.”

Mr Wright had offered to amend the scheme to make it a six bed property for eight people, and provide another parking space.

But she said she could not decide the appeal based on the amendments because it would have deprived the council and others of the opportunity to comment on the revised development.

“In the interests of fairness, I am obliged to determine the appeal on the basis of the application considered by the council,” she said.

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“It is not the role of the appeal process to evolve a scheme, and if the appellant considers that amending their application proposals would overcome the council’s reason for refusal, then they should make a fresh planning application,” she said.

The inspector’s decision letters were both dated last week.

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