Uproar in Willen part of Milton Keynes over too-big-house replacement for bungalow

A resident who knocked down a bungalow and built a house significantly bigger than he was allowed to is facing council enforcement action.

At the same time, Manoj Srivastava’s application for retrospective planning permission to be granted to the unlawful development in Portland Drive, Willen, is facing rejection at a meeting next week after council officers recommended it be refused.

An aerial image

An aerial image

In a Design and Access statement on MK Council’s planning portal, Mr Srivastava’s agent said there have been “shortcomings on the part of the contractor” but it is hoped that the new application would be seen as a “reasonable interpretation of current planning policy.”

But relations with the neighbours have been strained.

“We welcome the opportunity for neighbours to comment on applications through the proper channel, which a number have done,” said planning agent Isaak Jackson, of Essex-based Method Studio.

“However, in addition to this there has been opposition voiced on social media, some of which is apparently based on inaccuracies. Also, the applicant has reported an invasion of privacy by way of overhead drone flights.

“It is our hope that this will not affect the application being assessed on the basis of fundamental planning policy principles.”

MK Council senior planning officer, David Buckley, says in his report to Thursday’s Development Control Committee that the building has an “unauthorised roof”, a bigger than approved garage, and entrance gates 6.5 metres wide, when they should have been 4.4 metres apart.

A planning enforcement notice has been served by the council to change the height of the roof, the roof pitch and the ground floor.

The planning application has seen a flood of comments from the local parish council, borough councillors, including MK mayor Sam Crooks, and 30 neighbours.

Campbell Park Parish Council and residents raised concerns that MK Council’s planning department allowed the development to take place without enforcement action. Some feared allowing people to get away with breaking the rules could set a precedent.

In his summary, Mr Buckley says the principle of replacing a bungalow with a house is considered acceptable. However he says the fact it has a much steeper roof than it was permitted to have makes it “unacceptably

bulky.”

“Cumulatively the enlargements and additions have resulted in an excessively large and bulky dwellinghouse that is inappropriate in scale and harmful to the street scene and the visual quality and amenity of the area,” he says.

“Overall, the development, by reason of its scale and prominence is considered to be unacceptably large and bulky in scale and result in a harmful impact on the neighbouring street scene.”