A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build an extension already rejected by the council and a government inspector will now be allowed to go ahead bringing an end to an 18-month saga.

Worcester City Council’s planning committee and the government’s planning inspector both rejected an application for a side and rear extension to the existing five-bed HMO in Bozward Street over parking and congestion fears.

The plan for the extension returned after developer Bob Panesar successfully gained a 'lawful development certificate' from the council in January for the proposed work and submitted another planning application in May.

Councillor Jo Hodges said councillors were in a difficult position having already refused the plan but then the council had given Mr Panesar a lawful development certificate which said the work could go ahead, meaning the committee had little option but to approve the plan.

She said it felt like councillors were deciding on something that had already been approved and allowing it would make life a bit more comfortable for the people living in the house.

Cllr Pat Agar said it went "against the grain" for her to approve the plan and she was only saying yes on pragmatic grounds.

"I'll have to vote yes for it, I don't like it, but there you are," she told councillors at a city council planning committee meeting last Thursday (July 9).

The plan was rejected by councillors in February 2019 after it was called in by Cllr Richard Udall, who represents St John’s, over the impact it would have on neighbours and parking in the street.

Mr Panesar appealed to the government’s planning inspectorate to reverse the decision but it was thrown out after an inspector said it would make parking worse.

Cllr Udall said again at the planning meeting last Thursday that neighbours were concerned by the plan but he feared he was talking about a retrospective planning application as he believed most of the work had already been carried out.