Thursday, 18 January 2018
RESIDENTS and councillors in Henley have spoken out over plans to build three new homes in a road in the town.
Anthony Wrigley wants to demolish an existing house in Rotherfield Road to create the two-and-a-half storey, five-bedroom homes, as well as felling a diseased tree to create one of two new access roads.
He says the current home is in a poor condition and is “sprawling and inefficient” and that the new homes would “reflect the prevailing character of the immediate area” and comply with planning policy, as well as being shorter than the existing home.
But at a meeting of the town council’s planning committee on Tuesday last week, councillors and neighbours branded the plans as “wrong” and “over-intensive”.
Several residents of Rotherfield Road attended the meeting to speak against the plans, claiming that three houses was too many for the site and they would overlook neighbours.
They added that a tree should not be felled as part of the development and raised concerns over construction traffic on the road.
Susan Crawford said: “The size of the development is huge. If there are three houses they should be further back on the plot and use the existing access.”
Hugh Crook said that construction traffic on the road from building work at a different property in the past had caused problems.
He said: “The road is extremely narrow and we had tremendous trouble. I nearly had three head-on collisions leaving Rotherfield Road.
“No one is saying we don’t want development but we want traffic kept off the road. They could push plot one back and have one drive.”
Alan Trager added: “If there was an emergency there’s no way they could go through.”
Dr Tim Lincoln said: “The proposed houses are not in keeping with the scale, type and density of Rotherfield Road. If it’s allowed it will encourage developers to ignore planning policy.
“It will have an impact on neighbours’ privacy. Simply moving the houses back from the road will actually worsen the privacy issues. It’s three huge houses on a plot previously holding one house.”
Dr Lincoln added that the tree proposed to be felled is part of an avenue of trees on the road which should be maintained.
He said: “The avenue is unique in Henley and is of great interest but the applicant suggests the tree is felled and replaced at a new, unspecified location.” Councillors said they also opposed the plans, with Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who also sits on South Oxfordshire District Council, promising to speak against it at a meeting this week.
He said: “I regard this development as being huge, overbearing and overdevelopment. To replace one house with three houses is wrong.
“The tree they are talking about has been assessed as slightly diseased but with a canopy reduction will go on living for a long time. The privacy of this road is going to be affected very much.”
Councillor David Nimmo Smith added: “I think this is over-intensive. If it does get approval there should be the condition that all vehicles should be able to turn in the site so they aren’t reversing on Rotherfield Road.
“There’s one access in there and anything that goes in there in the future should be using that access.”
The district council was due to be make a final decision on Wednesday night.
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