Tuesday, 17 July 2018

11 potential sites that you will be voting on

ELEVEN sites are earmarked for new housing in the final draft of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood

ELEVEN sites are earmarked for new housing in the final draft of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan.

The largest is Highlands Farm, a light industrial unit off Greys Road on the outskirts of Henley which has been set aside for 170 units.

Crest Nicholson has submitted a planning application for this number to South Oxfordshire District Council. Henley Town Council has recommended approval but says the developer did not prepare an adequate transport strategy.

There are five others in or near Greys Road: a playing field at Gillotts School (50 homes); the Chilterns End care home (27 homes); Henley Enterprise Park (42 homes); the Makower textiles offices (13 homes) and Henley Youth Centre in Deanfield Avenue (23 homes). Gillotts School says it must sell the land to fund £10million worth of refurbishment to its dated buildings. It has the Government’s permission to dispose of it and says a share of the proceeds would go towards new sports facilities.

The youth centre site has been purchased by B&M Care, which wants to build a 60-bed care home for the elderly. It already has planning permission to clear the land.

The remaining sites are a field to the west of Fair Mile (60 homes), the former Jet garage in Reading Road (55 homes), the former Exclusively Ladies gym premises by Tesco off Reading Road (30 homes), the old offices of removals firm Wilkins in Deanfield Avenue (20 homes) and the former Royal Marine Reserve base in Friday Street (10 homes).

McCarthy & Stone, which specialises in retirement properties, has submitted a planning application for 53 "assisted living" flats at the old Jet site. The town council opposes this on the grounds that it will increase traffic on Mill Lane, where the site entrance will be. The land was previously owned by Inland Homes, which secured planning permission for 55 ordinary flats.

Henley and Harpsden parish councils agreed to produce a neighbourhood plan in 2012 and invited landowners to submit their sites the following year.

Other plots that came forward but were rejected included Thames Farm, off the A4155 near Shiplake.

Owner Claire Engbers submitted a planning application for 110 homes in 2013. It was turned down on appeal and is now mired in a legal battle. She plans to submit a fresh application for 95 units and has circulated a flyer asking residents for their views.

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