Thursday, 03 December 2020

Developer plans 11 homes next to village fire station

A DEVELOPER is seeking planning permission for 11 homes on a site that it submitted for

A DEVELOPER is seeking planning permission for 11 homes on a site that it submitted for inclusion in Goring’s neighbourhood plan.

Elegant Homes, of Caversham, wants to develop the 0.63-hectare plot off Icknield Road, behind Cleeve Cottages and next door to the town’s fire station.

The properties would have two or three bedrooms and four would be “affordable” with rents or purchase prices fixed below the market rate.

This is just below the 40 per cent target required by South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, but the developer would pay towards a fifth affordable unit to be built elsewhere.

The development would have 26 car parking spaces — two for each property plus four more for visitors.

The entrance and exit would be to the south-west by the fire station. The company says the site is “well contained” by planting on all sides and that it is near the primary school and Wallingford Road, which is served by bus routes.

Elegant was considering applying for 12 units but reduced this on the district council’s advice.

It says traffic on Icknield Road is light and the entrance road would provide enough visibility.

Goring is currently compiling a neighbourhood plan, which will name sites for 86 homes to be built by 2027 to meet government targets.

The land behind Cleeve Cottages is one of 15 plots submitted for inclusion by developers. A steering group of volunteers is now deciding which ones will make the final document.

However, even if the plan passes a referendum next year, other sites could still be built on because there is not enough spare housing land across South Oxfordshire to meet demand over the next five years.

Additionally, Elegant says its scheme is small enough to be classed as “infill” development, which doesn’t count towards the housing quotas.

Last year the developer requested permission for up to 35 homes on a field on the opposite side of the village between Manor Road and Elmcroft.

The district council refused permission amid objections from residents and Goring Parish Council, which said the proposals didn’t meet the community’s need for smaller, cheaper homes.

Elegant appealed and is awaiting a ruling by the planning inspector. A planning application is also expected shortly for 67 homes on farmland off Wallingford Road, on the village’s northern outskirts.

Earlier this year, McAdden Homes sought pre-application advice from the district council, saying it hoped to build a mix of one- and two- bedroom flats and houses with between two and five bedrooms.

The company was told the scheme didn’t require a full environmental impact assessment.

David Bermingham, spokesman for the steering group, said the committee was unhappy about developers submitting planning applications ahead of the formal neighbourhood plan process.

“Regrettably, I think many hands have been forced by various factors, not least the five-year land supply shortfall,” he said. “It means we’re in danger of being overtaken by events outside our control.”

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