Monday, 18 December 2017

Neighbours fail to prevent development of three homes

PLANS for three new five-bedroom homes in a Henley street have been approved despite opposition from residents and town councillors.

Anthony Wrigley has been granted plannng permission to demolish a house in Rotherfield Road and replace it with the two-and-a-half storey houses and to fell a diseased tree to create one of two new access roads.

He had argued that the existing property is in a poor condition and is “sprawling and inefficient” while the new homes would not be as high and they would “reflect the prevailing character of the immediate area” and comply with planning policy.

Neighbours opposed his application, saying the development was “wrong” and “over-intensive”. They protested at a meeting of Henley Town Council’s planning committee in July, complaining that the new houses would overlook their homes and they didn’t want the construction traffic.

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.”

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.”

The neighbours also appealed for the tree to be saved, saying it was part of an avenue of trees.

Town councillors said they also opposed the plans.

The committee voted to recommend that the application is refused by South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith said: “I think this is over-intensive.

“If it does get approval there should be a condition that all vehicles should be able to turn in the site so they aren’t reversing on Rotherfield Road.

“There’s one access there and anything that goes in there in future should be using that access.”

Town and district councillor Stefan Gawrysiak spoke against the application at a meeting of the district council’s planning committee.

He said: “I regard this 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 it would go on living for a long time.

“The privacy of this road is going to be affected very much.”

The district council’s planning committee approved the application, although members were divided on their views.

Some said the development would not be in keeping with the street scene, the design of the new homes was old-
fashioned and the plan represented overdevelopment of the site.

Others supported the application with the introduction of tree protection and construction traffic management plans.

They said they understood the concerns of neighbours but pointed out that there were similarly dense developments nearby in the town.

Councillors said that a first floor window at one of the houses should have clouded glass to prevent overlooking.

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