Milton Keynes drive-thru restaurant scheme rejected over lack of biodiversity plan

Plans for a drive-thru KFC restaurant and a five-storey 87-bed hotel were dismissed by a Government inspector because the applicants had not said what they would do to protect biodiversity.

SME Corporation (2) Ltd had asked the Government to intervene after Milton Keynes Council had refused planning permission for the 4,613sq-m site to the east of Groveway and north of Elmswell Gate.

It would have created 60 full time and 30 part-time jobs.

Although planning inspector Carole Dillon found that the proposal would not harm district centres in the area, and would not put a strain on local roads, the environmental angle was more important.

“I afford greater weight to the harm that would arise in the absence of the necessary environmental mitigation,” she said in her decision letter dated December 7.

When they submit planning applications in Milton Keynes developers have to show how their plans would help increase biodiversity.

But in this case even though the developers admitted it would harm the area of grassland, trees and hedges, they did not say how they would mitigate it.

The inspector said that the developer had stated that an agreement could be made with the council but the details weren’t there to be considered.

“There is no means available to me through the planning appeals procedure to secure this,” she said.

She also said that the applicants had not satisfactorily demonstrated that the the proposal would be sustainable construction, with particular regard to reducing and off-setting carbon emissions.

© MKFM News 2020 

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