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Residents oppose boathouse conversion
Published 25/02/13

PLANS to convert a former boathouse in Henley into terraced homes have been recommended for refusal.

The owners of Parrots Yard in Thames Side want to demolish two outbuildings and build three two-bedroom houses in the space behind the Chocolate Theatre Café in Thames Side.

Mulberry Estates says the development would provide “much-needed small residential units” in the town centre and claims the design respects the character of the conservation area.

Planning consultant Jeff Lowe told a meeting of the town council’s planning committee that the design had taken into the account the risk of flooding. The buildings would be on stilts, a porous pavement would be built and an early warning flood risk system would be installed.

But David Hamilton-Green, who lives behind the site in Friday Street, said light and his existing view of St Mary’s Church would be blocked by the development.

He said: “There’s concern for us in those avenues because of excessive traffic that will come through the street and the noise that we will have to live with for 12 to 18 months.”

Mr Hamilton-Green said many of the houses in the street dated back centuries and he was concerned about the effect vibrations from the building work would have to their foundations.

He added: “We’re very concerned that these buildings are going to disrupt our lives for a long time and ruin what is a very pretty street to look on to.”

Sandra Moon, who has lived in Friday Street for 55 years, said: “I’ve seen changes but they want to put three buildings in where there’s hardly any room to do anything. It’s a very small area.”

Councillor Jeni Wood said the style of the houses wouldn’t sit well with the very old houses in the area.

Councillor Sam Evans said she supported building on the site but said the design was “completely inappropriate”.

The Henley Society has also objected to the application. South Oxfordshire District Council will make the final decision.

In the Twenties, a boathouse was built in the yard for use by boat builders Jack Arlett & Sons. There were offices with flats above the boathouse.

The site was bought by Mr M Parrot in the Eighties before permission was granted in 1991 for the ground-floor building to be converted into a café.

Published 25/02/13

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