Parking objections from Milton Keynes dismissed by government planning inspector

A large family home can be turned into a six-bed house for professional tenants despite local residents’ traffic concerns, a government inspector has decided.

Parking objections dismissed by planning inspector

Vernier Crescent, Milton Keynes

Vernier Crescent, Milton Keynes

A large family home can be turned into a six-bed house for professional tenants despite local residents’ traffic concerns, a government inspector has decided.

Planning inspector Andrew Smith visited Vernier Crescent, in Medbourne, after David Wright appealed against Milton Keynes Council’s rejection of his plan to change the home into a house in multiple occupation (HiMO).

The property has a double garage and a driveway that can accommodate another two cars, but the council’s parking guidelines mean this would leave a shortfall of three spaces. Those cars would have to be parked on the street.

Although he admitted that he visited “during the daytime and not when the highway would necessarily be at its most heavily parked,” he did not see a problem.

“The crescent was, in the immediate vicinity of the appeal site, parked at far beneath its full capacity to accommodate parked vehicles,” he said in his decision letter dated May 3.

“Notwithstanding its connecting nature, it does not appear, from my own observations, to be a particularly heavily trafficked route.

“From inspection, it was apparent that the crescent provides a high number of unrestricted kerbside car parking opportunities.”

And he dismissed as “unsubstantiated” claims from the parish council and a ward councillor that traffic movements were reduced to a single file as drivers, including of bin lorries, struggled to get past parked vehicles.

“I observed no such problems during inspection and noted vehicles parking safely on the crescent without impeding traffic flows” he said.

Indeed, he added: “I do not consider that undue additional pressure would be placed on off-site kerbside parking, which I have observed to be both plentiful and appropriately located relative to the appeal property.”

The inspector also considered what effect having a house in multiple occupation (HiMO) would have on the area.

He said: “The proposal would not result in harm being caused to the character of the area, with particular regard to the mix of housing types.”

The potential for noise and anti-social behaviour was also raised as a concern, but Mr Smith said: “It cannot however be assumed that the introduction of an HiMO use would lead to such issues, particularly as I have found that the proposal would not lead to an over-concentration of such uses in the area.

“Whilst it has been suggested that there are plenty of available properties in the central area of Milton Keynes that would better suit the needs of the typical professional tenant, it is my duty to assess the proposal before me based on its own individual merits.”

He concluded by allowing the appeal against the council and granting planning permission.