Friday, 23 August 2019

We’ll improve infrastructure and transport, says developer

We’ll improve infrastructure and transport, says developer

A DEVELOPER building 95 homes near Shiplake says it will pay to improve the village’s bus services and infrastructure.

Taylor Wimpey is to construct a mixture of flats and houses with up to five bedrooms at Thames Farm, off Reading Road. Thirty-eight units will be “affordable”.

The company was granted planning permission in May.

The development will be known as Regency Place and construction work is expected to start shortly.

A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said: “As a considerate, responsible housebuilder, we recognise the need to invest in and support the sustainability of the communities in which we build.

“Under our planning obligations for Regency Place, we will be financially contributing towards improving public transport, rights of way, bus services, primary school transport services and community infrastructure in the area.

“We are in contact with the local authority and other relevant bodies to ensure the right facilities are in place for new and existing residents.”

Daniel McDonagh, land and planning director at Taylor Wimpey West London, added: “Regency Place will provide much-needed homes, including affordable housing, and investment for the local community.

“We will also ensure that this development positively contributes to the local community by providing it with high-quality facilities and transport infrastructure.” 

The company says it has amended the plans following consultation with residents to include additional planting, lighting and speed bumps around the development.

The site, which is in Harpsden parish, has a controversial planning history.

An outline scheme was first put forward by the landowner Claire Engbers in 2016 but she was refused permission by South Oxfordshire District Council, which said the land wasn’t in the Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan and there were road safety issues.

Mrs Engbers appealed and the council’s decision was overturned by planning inspector John Braithwaite.

He said the council had failed to secure enough housing sites to meet demand for the next three years, making the neighbourhood plan unenforceable.

The council then sought a judicial review at the High Court, saying the inspector’s methodology was flawed but judges argued this was a matter for his discretion.

Last year, the council had to abandon its fight against the development after being denied the right to challenge the planning inspector’s decision.

Kester George, chairman of Harpsden parish council, said: “The development is a disaster. For a site to be denied by every public body but allowed simply because of irrelevant considerations to do with land supply seems to me ludicrous.”

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