Council opposes planning application to convert former Buckingham meeting place into student apartments

Buckingham Town Council has opposed a planning application to convert a former meeting place into student apartments.

Following discussions at a planning meeting earlier this week, the council voted to oppose the application at Oddfellows Hall on Well Street.

Oddfellows Hall, Buckingham - photo by Buckingham Town Council

Oddfellows Hall, Buckingham - photo by Buckingham Town Council

The planning committee meeting was attended by a number of residents living near the proposed development site who voiced concerns.

The principal objection of residents was that Well Street is a quiet residential area with a steep and narrow roadway, further reduced by on-street parking.

As the proposal introduces a first floor into the hall, residents are concerned bringing in materials will present problems which in turn could lead to a road closure for safety reasons.

Although councillors welcomed the bid to bring the hall back into use, there were criticisms of the scheme.

These included that although the intention was to let to students and a management plan had been submitted there was no agreement with the university and there was concern that enforcing the conditions would be difficult.

Other concerns included no evidence that the water supply/sewage disposal or other utility supplies were adequate for use by up to 18 residents, no detail of the refuse disposal arrangements and student use potentially causing light and noise nuisance for neighbouring properties and the area.

Further concerns raised included that none of the flats are completely accessible for those with mobility problems, there are no alternative exits to the main door on to Well Street for use in an emergency and there is no flood risk assessment or asbestos report.

The town council also recommended the district council undertook a site visit to help inform their decision.