An application to convert a former homeless shelter into a house of multiple occupation was turned down on Tuesday by members of Peterborough City Council’s Planning Committee.
But, councillor Peter Hiller, a member of the committee and the council’s cabinet member responsible for housing, warned that they were “missing a trick” to not allow the conversion of St Theresa’s House in Manor House Street.
The city centre property was most recently used as a Funeral Directors, with applicant Property Line Limited hoping to turn it into 12 bedsits with a shared kitchen and dining area.
However, committee members sided with the council’s planning officers who had recommended that the application be refused due to a shortage of six parking spaces.
Addressing the committee, resident Carole Aldous said: “We do not have enough spaces for the residents we already have without adding more.”
That view was re-iterated by fellow objector Margaret Randall who said: “Parking in Manor House Street is already in high demand.”
Paul Sharman, of Sharman Architecture, argued that there had been no accidents around the site, adding: “Space is ready and available.”
Debating the proposal, Cllr Hiller said: “Frankly, what’s being proposed here is a much needed lower-end housing facility in the city centre.
“Given it’s location in the city centre, do you really expect every single person living in the building to have their own car? It’s unlikely.”
Cllr David Harrington said he had not been convinced to put his reservations aside, while Cllr Lucia Serluca said: “I can completely understand what Cllr Hiller is saying, but I’m looking at it from a residents’ point of view and for me the parking is a major issue there, so I will go with officers’ recommendations.”