Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes Council to review 'oppressive' warehouse

Warehouse frame behind homes
Image caption A recent photo taken in Bessemer Court showing the warehouse beyond residents' back gardens

An independent investigation will take place into a decision to give approval for an "oppressive" warehouse being built next to homes, a council says.

Milton Keynes Council granted permission for the GUPI 6 Ltd warehouse in Blakelands last year.

Neighbours were angry and the council has admitted a legal letter to the firm did not include details of the required screening and noise measures.

The council said it had yet to appoint the independent advisor.

The warehouse is 18m (59ft) high and covers 20,522 sq m (24,544) sq yds), and news of an investigation was welcomed by residents who feel "overlooked" by it.

Blakelands Residents Association, in a statement on its Facebook page said: "It is quite clear MK Council have found something which is significant enough to request an independent investigation by an external planning expert."

Spokeswoman Linda Wardlaw, who lives in Yeomans Drive, said she had been assured the review "will look at everything - emails, letters, notes" and local hoped it would "open the door for compensation" as homes had been "devalued".

"The warehouse is so oppressive," she said.

The council's development control committee decided in January 2018 it could not refuse permission for the warehouse but wanted to impose conditions - including hours of operation and lighting.

The error meant 13 separate conditions were not included in legal letters sent before planning permission was granted.

The council has said it will seek to apply conditions retrospectively and the committee was given confidential information on the cost of all the options available, including revoking the planning permission, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Image caption The ridge of the new warehouse, on Yeomans Drive, is 18.4m (60ft) high

Conservative councillor John Bint said the council was "doing everything it can to get to the bottom of how on earth this happened".

The council's chief internal auditor Duncan Wilkinson said "an external review may be necessary, led by a planning professional" but the appointment process had yet to be completed.

Image caption Linda Wardlaw said the view of the "huge" warehouse from her back garden in Bessemer Court was affecting house prices
Image copyright Google
Image caption Houses in Bessemer Court before the replacement warehouse was built

GUPI 6 Ltd has declined to comment.

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