Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Flats plan for former Wilkins site supported

PLANS to build housing on the former premises of a Henley removals and storage firm have been recommended for

PLANS to build housing on the former premises of a Henley removals and storage firm have been recommended for approval by the town council.

Wilkins has moved from Deanfield Avenue, where it had been based for 120 years, to a purpose-built warehouse on the Newtown Road industrial estate.

Oakford Homes, of Hedsor, near Cookham, has now applied for consent to demolish the company’s old offices and erect a three-storey, flat-roofed complex with 23 flats and 32 underground parking spaces.

Fourteen units would be sold or rented at the going rate while 11 would be “affordable” with a fixed lower price. Ten would have one bedroom, 11 would have two and the remaining two would have three. 

The land is earmarked for about 20 dwellings in the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan, which passed a referendum in March.



At a Henley Town Council planning committee meeting on Tuesday last week, members welcomed the company’s application but echoed neighbours’ concerns about its “urban” appearance.

Deputy Mayor Will Hamilton said: “I’m totally in favour of the affordable allocation but would ask that the applicant looks again at the design to see what they can do to please the residents.

“South Oxfordshire District Council has received a lot of comments about overlooking and an increase in traffic and pressure on parking places. It is slightly urban and I think there’s still further work to be done.”

Councillor Lorraine Hillier said: “It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. I understand that some people are concerned about overlooking but the height goes hand-in-hand with the affordability. It enables them to make best use of the land.”

The committee agreed to recommend approval and to ask Oakford if it could modify the building’s appearance to make it more traditional.

The district council will make the final decision in a few weeks’ time.



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