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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agent defends HMO scheme after “greedy” accusation

An agent acting on behalf of a landlord has defended a bid for retrospective planning permission, but a Labour councillor has branded the move “greedy”.

The Reading Chronicle reports that a landlord built extensions to a house in the Faversham area, including a separate single-storey building in the garden, without seeking planning consent.

An extra tenant was also added without seeking permission, taking the number of tenants to seven.

However, retrospective applications for the extensions have been rejected by Reading council with one member - Labour’s Karen Rowland - quoted as saying it was a “greedy” proposal with the landlord “out for every inch he could extract.”

Agent and chartered surveyor Chris Keen, speaking on behalf of the developer, called the site “the best HMO development in Reading” and compared the extra building in the garden to a “shed”.

However, Conservative councillor Jane Stanford-Beale agreed with her Labour counterpart and called the agent’s comments “completely unacceptable” while adding that the applications have “really taken the biscuit.”

She added: “They knew what they had applied for. They didn’t build it to the plans. They said the outbuilding was not a dwelling even though it has a kitchen area, a bedroom and an en-suite bathroom.”

Keen, speaking after the meeting, is quoted in the Chronicle as saying he will advise his client on how to make amends and renegotiate with planning officers.

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