Friday, 15 December 2017

Residents fear development would lead to 'urbanisation'

RESIDENTS are angry with plans to knock down a house in Peppard and replace it with five.

Vanita Kang has applied to knock down the building, off Peppard Hill, and redevelop the 0.29 hectare site with three houses with five bedrooms and two one-bedroom maisonettes.

But neighbours are concerned with the amount of development approved in Peppard Hill, Stoke Row Road and Blounts Court Road in recent years.

They say the proposal will lead to extra traffic, urbanisation of the village and infringe their privacy.

Andrew Morris, of Peppard Hill, said: “The buildings will overlook my garden and I will be presented with some 6m to 8m of brick wall, three-storeys-high with no screening.

“The plans as drawn exaggerate the sizes of the plots and the position of the boundaries. Gardens appear larger on the plans than on the ground. This makes the buildings appear well located.

“The potential number of vehicles will be too many for the exit with limited turning. I often see potential collisions when vehicles are servicing the current site.”

Katrina Khan, of Peppard Hill, said: “The proposed development is too large for the land being built on. It can clearly be seen from the plans that there will be minimal garden space, and that the houses would be too tightly packed.

“Whilst there are many detached houses in the area, there are no small maisonettes and it seems unlikely that this would satisfy affordable housing criteria given the prices of property in Peppard, and the lack of frequent public transport links to the location.”

Graham Phillips, of Stoke Row Road, said the development could cause to the area becoming more urbanised.

He said: “The site is set in a semi-rural landscape but this and other recent developments can only lead to increased ‘suburbanisation’. I urge the council to reject this proposal.”

Anna Mortimer, of Shiplake Bottom, said more houses were needed but not with five bedrooms. She said: “I recognise that we need more houses but why are we building five-bedroom houses when the country is crying out for cheap housing as in two- and three- bedroom houses?”

Jane Harcourt, of Stoke Row Road, agreed, adding: “We do not need any more five-bedroom/multi bathroom houses in this area — it is becoming exclusively for the extremely wealthy.”

Andy Tidswell, of Peppard Common, warned extra traffic could be a problem and visibility from the proposed entrance may not be good.

He said: “The new development would clearly increase the amount of traffic entering and leaving the highway. The entrance to the site, although existing, does not have clear visibility to the right of the entrance due to the large tree in that location.” Thomas Cockhill, a highways officer at the county council, has suggested the application is turned down.

He said: “The highway authority considers the proposal over-development in transport terms as the proposal is likely to generate a significant level of vehicle movements.”

Peppard Parish Council has described the application as “speculative” and says it should be refused.

The application, submitted by agent Woolf Bond Planning, of Reading, says the scheme would be “to the betterment of the character of the area”.

It adds: “Given the pressure for residential development in South Oxfordshire and the strong policy presumption against inappropriate development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is a need to maximise these types of site.”

In 2014, a planning inspector dismissed an appeal after South Oxfordshire District Council rejected a proposal for two homes on the site.

The district council is set to decide the application today (Friday).

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