Unanimous vote to close licensed shared house in Milton Keynes

Up to seven tenants could be evicted from a house they share because the property does not have planning permission, despite being licensed as an official House in Multiple Occupation (HiMO) by the same council.

The three-storey terraced house in Lundy Walk, Newton Leys, had been licensed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HiMO) by the housing department of Milton Keynes Council.

Lundy Walk

Lundy Walk

But to operate legally, premises also need planning permission, and on Thursday members of MK Council’s Development Control Panel and a neighbour made their disapproval known.

The plan submitted by Leon Hill was retrospective, and therefore an attempt to gain permission for something that was already happening.

Panel chairman, Cllr Keith McLean, said retrospective applications were anathema to him as they were not the right way to go about it. He added that the council needs to be able to “get in early” with such issues.

And panel member Cllr Terry Baines said the situation where a licence for a HiMO could be granted, without planning permission, was something that “needs to be looked at.”

Cllr Baines said he was “absolutely amazed that people could put in for a HiMO for five bedrooms, that would need four parking spaces, and only actually had one parking space.”

The lack of parking in Lundy Walk was a crucial one for resident Kieran Moore, who said: “Cars are parked everywhere, our visitor spaces are being used and it causes problems. Crossings are blocked.

“This property has been rented out for a long period of time and something should have been done a lot sooner. Hopefully you will agree with the recommendation and refuse planning permission.”

The panel voted by four votes to nil to refuse planning permission, which clears the way for enforcement action to be taken to stop the property being used as a HiMO.

However, the committee heard that the landlord of the property could appeal against the decision, and contest enforcement action, which means that the tenants can continue to live there for at least six months more.