Flats-above-shops plan in Milton Keynes thrown out over ‘lack of parking’

    A plan to build 14 flats on top of a parade of shops in Milton Keynes has been thrown out because there would not be enough parking to go with it.

    The owner of the units at Shearmans, in Fullers Slade, appealed to a Government planning inspector to overturn a Milton Keynes Council decision to reject the scheme.

    Inspector Joanna Bowyer said she was not satisfied that enough parking spaces could be provided to cope with all the extra people, plus the business users.

    “There would be likely to be a significant shortfall in provision of around 15 spaces,” she said in rejecting the case put to her by agent Pegley D’Arcy Architects.

    She also rejected an argument that residents would not need to use cars, and said: “I consider it probable that there would be demand from future occupiers of the development for private vehicles, and associated requirements for parking.”

    She said when she visited the site during the lockdown, even when fewer businesses were open, vehicles were parked on the roads and pavements.

    “I cannot therefore be certain that sufficient parking would be available throughout the day to meet demand for parking associated with the proposal so that it would not result in additional on-street parking,” she said.

    “This would cause further obstruction to pedestrians and vehicles, and increased potential for conflict between highway users which would be detrimental to safety.”

    Milton Keynes Council had also rejected the scheme because the developers had not agreed to make section 106 payments.

    Developers are often asked to make payments to cover costs for things like transport, education and leisure.

    But the inspector said that the council had not proven its case.

    “I have not been provided with details of the methodology for calculating the requested financial contributions and so I cannot be sure that they are fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development,” she said.

    In rejecting the appeal on May 22, the inspector said: “Drawing these matters together, even taken together, I find that the benefits of the proposal are insufficient to outweigh the harm that I have identified would be caused through the inadequate provision for parking and resulting harm to highway safety and the flow of traffic.”

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