Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Eight new homes turned down for being too big

PLANS to knock down a large house in Shiplake and build eight in its place have been turned down.

Developer Ressance, of Newbury, wanted to redevelop the 0.7-hectare site at Mount Ida, off Reading Road, north of the village.

But South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee refused permission, against the advice of its officers.

Members said the village needed small homes for young families, not four-bedroom properties like some of those proposed.

Henley Town Council and Harpsden and Shiplake parish councils had formally objected to the scheme, as had 57 residents of the villages. There were concerns that the entrance was too narrow to accommodate the extra traffic, although Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said this could be overcome.

The site was also omitted from the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan after it proved to be unpopular during public consultation.

Ressance had amended the plans on the recommendation of planning officers by adding one house and changing the footpaths.

The officers said it would not be harmful to the character or appearance of the area and would have no negative impact on neighbours. Tudor Taylor, chairman of Shiplake Parish Council, said he was pleased that permission had been refused.

He said: “This was an unsuitable mix of housing compared with the emerging policies. It also had terrible access and we were very concerned about the highways issues afterwards.”

Will Hall, who represents the council on the district council, said: “This is a triumph for local democracy.”

The site is opposite Thames Farm, which has planning permission for 95 houses following a successful appeal by the landowner. Plans have also been submitted for up to 40 homes and some commercial units at the site of the former Wyevale Garden Centre next door.

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