Thursday, 19 October 2017

‘B & Q-type garage’ upsets councillors

PLANS to convert offices in Henley to residential use have been recommended for refusal by town councillors.

PLANS to convert offices in Henley to residential use have been recommended for refusal by town councillors.

A Mr and Mrs Menzies want to convert the Grade II listed North Lea House in Northfield End and extend the accommodation by 10 per cent.

The couple say that since the house was built in the 19th century, it has undergone a number of unsympathetic alterations, particularly when it was converted to office use in the Seventies. The plans are for a three-storey house with six bedrooms, a playroom, studio, plant room, orangery and garage block.

The application proposes “minor internal alterations” and a replacement rear extension to form “new improved living space”.

It says: “North Lea House, along with its matching neighbour Easby House, is a good example of a ‘high’ Victorian villa. There is no doubt that North Lea House makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area. Fortunately, much of the alteration carried out to the house and its setting is not irreparable and in this connection the proposed return of the building to residential use is clearly only to be welcomed in conservation terms.”

Speaking at a meeting of Henley Town Council’s planning committee, chairman Dieter Hinke said the house looked nice but it was being proposed to have a “timber-framed B & Q-type garage next to it”.

Councillor David Clenshaw said: “The Henley Society welcomes the residential change but is concerned about the garage block.They think the proposed model is out of keeping and too close to the boundary of the property. I think the applicants should be asked to look again at the garage.”

The committee voted to recommend refusal on the grounds that the garage would be out of keeping with the house and the surrounding street scene. The final decision will be made by South Oxfordshire District Council.

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