Sunday, 19 November 2017
PLANS by a developer to build 17 homes in Henley are set to be approved despite failing to comply with the town’s neighbourhood plan.
Ashill Land says the development off Greys Road would no longer be viable if 40 per cent of the properties were “affordable”, as required by the plan.
Instead, it is proposing to build five affordable flats — or 29 per cent affordable housing — and 12 houses on the small commercial estate being sold by merchant drapers M Makower & Co.
Town councillors have said this is unacceptable and have recommended the planning application is rejected.
But Emma Bowerman, a planning officer at South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, says the proportion of affordable housing is acceptable. She is recommending that permission is granted by the planning committee when it meets on Wednesday.
She said: “Although there is an aspiration that 40 percent affordable housing will be provided on all development sites, there does have to be some recognition that there may be sites where this would render the development uneconomic and prevent the delivery of any housing.
“The development would provide a level of affordable housing that is viable in this case and would contribute towards meeting housing need. The proposal generally complies with the relevant development plan policies and would not be detrimental to the character and appearance of the site or the surrounding area, would not be unneighbourly and would not result in conditions prejudicial to highway safety. When considered against the development plan as a whole, the proposal would represent a sustainable form of development and would boost housing numbers.”
When Ashill first applied for permission in August Henley Town Council’s planning committee objected on the grounds of non-compliance, overdevelopment of the site, overlooking and scale and bulk, resulting in a loss of light. The company amended its plans, saying it had improved the design but said it couldn’t increase the proportion of affordable housing as the scheme would no longer be “deliverable” but the committee again objected.
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