A bungalow in a suburban street in Swindon can be used as a home for up to six people receiving professional care.
Permission was granted by Swindon Borough Council despite objections from nearly 50 neighbors and the local parish council.
Swindon Borough Council has granted a certificate of legal use to the Whitehorse Care Trust for the Okebourne Park bungalow in Liden to be used for these purposes.
And he also granted a covenant waiver to keep buildings used for residential purposes.
This caused concern among several neighbors – 47 letters and emails were sent to Euclid Street planners opposing the plan – and the parish councils of Nythe, Eldene and Liden were also unhappy.
Council echoed the consensus of objections when it said: ‘The location of the property is at the end of a very narrow cul-de-sac which we believe makes it unsuitable for use as premises commercial.
“There is no possibility of turning a large vehicle at the end of the cul-de-sac and therefore reversing inwards or outwards is unavoidable. It is certainly not a safe practice to undertake regularly with potentially large vehicles.
Residents and the parish council were also unhappy that the council had waived the restrictive covenant. He said: “On a broader point, we are concerned that the recognizance waiver appears to have been granted with little or no public communication and, therefore, opportunity to comment. Residential homes in Okebourne Park and Fairlawn have commitments to preserve the nature of the areas by preventing their use as commercial premises.
“It seems that the renunciation of the covenant inevitably set a very powerful precedent.”
But borough council planners said providing care for the six residents who could live there did not constitute the conversion of the property into commercial property.
“Council legal counsel recommends that the question of whether residents live as one household is a matter of fact and degree and as such is a planning judgment. The officer indicates that the layout plan submitted supports the claim that the residents will live together as one household, sharing a bathroom and toilet, kitchen, dining room and two living rooms. The legal officer indicates that overall, based on the description of the development, the use would fall under class C3(b) of the order. »
This means that the house is not converted into a business, but remains a house and is not prevented by the covenant.
The decision report indicated that, being the case, there was no planning reason to deny a certificate of legality.