THE rejection of a plan to build two homes in a garden in St John’s, turned down because the drive would not have been wide enough to allow car doors to open, has been overturned by a planning inspector.

The two three-bed homes, which would have been built in a garden on the corner of Melrose Close and Comer Road in St John’s, were rejected because councillors felt the car parking spaces at the front were far too small despite it fitting within the county council’s own highways standards.

But applicant Robert Bilingham lodged an appeal with the government’s planning inspectorate because of ‘non-determination’ - meaning the council did not come to a decision within the eight-week deadline.

Government planning inspector RC Kirby admitted parking on the driveway would be tight but did fit within council guidelines and said there was no evidence given that showed any visitors to the new homes would not struggle to park on the street.

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The inspector’s report said: “Although the proposed parking areas would be tight, they would allow two vehicles to park off the road in front of each dwelling. It is noteworthy that the highway authority did not raise concern about the size of the proposed parking space. On the basis of the evidence before me and from what I have seen, I find that the proposed car parking provision would be acceptable and that harm to highway safety would not result.”

The plan was rejected by Worcester City Council’s planning committee in July last year.

At the time, Worcestershire County Council’s highways department said it was “content” that two cars could fit on the drive and its size was within its own guidelines.

Karen Hanchett from the county council’s highways department said: “I’m not going to try and deny it is tight. It is tight but it does meet the minimum standards within the design guide.”

Cllr Richard Udall, who represents St John’s, said the plan was a “significant overdevelopment” and the car parking spaces were too small.

“Bluntly, the two car parking spaces for each property are completely inadequate because it would not leave space for people to actually reach their front doors,” he told the council’s planning committee.

“There is not much space left after that and certainly not enough space if both cars are parked there and were to open their doors.”