Thursday, 19 July 2018

Developer plans 23 flats on Wilkins site

HOMES could be built on the premises of a Henley removals and storage firm.

HOMES could be built on the premises of a Henley removals and storage firm.

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

Now Oakford Homes, of Hedsor, near Cookham, is seeking consent to demolish the firm’s current premises and build 23 flats.

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

The development would consist of two linked three-storey buildings and would have underground parking with 32 spaces plus two more for electric vehicles and bicycle storage.

The buildings would be made from “locally appropriate” red brick with timber cladding and flat roofs.

Hedges and trees would be planted around the edge of the site and there would be a communal garden.

Fourteen of the homes would be sold at market rate while nine would be “affordable” with rental or purchase values fixed at a lower level.

There would 11 flats with two bedrooms and 10 with one bedroom and the other two would have three bedrooms. Some would have balconies.

Oakford says the site is currently an “ad hoc arrangement of utilitarian buildings, expensive to maintain” and “not suitable for access by large-scale plant and service vehicles”.

It is not in the Henley conservation area and is next to homes built in the Sixties, which “would not now be judged as being locally appropriate or distinctive”.

Oakford had planned to build a terrace of 10 two-storey houses but when it sought guidance from South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning officers last year was advised that a three-storey development would be more appropriate as the site is opposite The Henley College’s Deanfield campus, which is of a similar height.

The developer was also encouraged to consider a “contemporary design solution”.

It says the current plans “tap into the increasingly rich, crisp and sophisticated design language that has been developed for town centre flats... with the provision of large areas of glass, exteral balconies, reticulation and crisp detailing”.

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