Planning permission has been granted for 186 homes at a former industrial site in Luton.
The ex-Travis Perkins unit off Dallow Road, part of which was once occupied by The Bedfordshire Yeoman pub, will contain a mix of 58 one-bed, 48 two-bed and 76 three-bedroom flats, and four four-bedroom houses.
The scheme also includes 126 parking spaces - 60 short of the total number of homes - plus a new link to Dallow Road and a pedestrian route between Clifton Road and Dallow Road.
Cllr Mark Rivers rejected arguments about parking during a meeting of the borough council’s development control committee yesterday.
“If people went out and bought a boat they would not expect the council to provide somewhere to moor it,” he said.
“It’s almost 30 years since I last owned a car and I am not alone among Lutonians. I know some single mums living in pretty crummy temporary accommodation who don’t own a car and could do with some decent housing.
“There’s this assumption that we are responsible for providing people with somewhere to keep their unused vehicles. It’s not actually true,” he added.
“If people buy a vehicle and they have nowhere to keep it, that’s their problem and they’re going to have to deal with it.”
Nearly all of the two-acre site has been cleared ahead of development.
Labour Northwell councillor Anne Donelon said: “I am concerned about the lack of car parking spaces. It’s a nightmare getting a space there.
“I really do fear the people living in these flats, if there is insufficient parking for them, won’t find spaces on the surrounding roads.
“People use their cars to go shopping or for work and when they come home their space is usually gone."
Architect for the scheme Mike Kane said: “The site has excellent transport links and is extremely well-served by local buses, while the town centre is within walking distance.
“It is a very difficult site to develop because of the amount of foundations which will be needed.
“The costs before you even start building are quite extensive.”
Labour Farley councillor Mahmood Hussain asked why there was no affordable housing provision, saying: “Even the Victorians didn’t pile up that many buildings in such a small space,” .
A viability assessment had led to a proposal of £600,000 contributions.
Mr Kane replied: “The Georgians went up five or six-storeys.
“The Victorians were speculative in their own way as well. Things have moved on in terms of architecture.”
The arguments over parking ebbed and flowed for an hour, before Labour Farley councillor Dave Taylor, who chairs the committee, took the helm.
“This is a brownfield site. Do you want to see it developed or not?” he asked. “That is the question.
“I have made my views about parking. It’s at saturation point there.
“The residents in this development are more likely to suffer parking problems from people living on other roads parking in there.”
The plans of applicant SHF Properties Investments were approved by five votes to one.