Monday, 23 November 2020

More opposition to 20 homes on neighbouring site

More opposition to 20 homes on neighbouring site

PLANS for 20 new homes in Shiplake have been met with more opposition.

Westbourne Homes has applied for planning permission to build on a paddock off the A4155 Reading Road.

This site is at the junction with Woodlands Road, immediately south of the Regency Place development, which was formerly Thames Farm.

Councillors in Henley, Harpsden and Shiplake have all objected due to the groundwater risk and the effect on the rural character of the site, which was not allocated for housing in the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan.

Now the Environment Agency has also objected.

Samuel Pocock, planning advisor for the agency, said: “The applicant has not supplied adequate information to demonstrate that the risks posed to groundwater can be satisfactorily managed. We will maintain our objection until we receive a satisfactory risk assessment that demonstrates that the risks to potable water supplies posed by this development can be safely managed.”

Shiplake residents have also objected.

Mike Crook, of Lashbrook Road, said: “Twenty houses is overdevelopment and is out of character with the semi-rural nature of the road. Access is on the cusp of a known local accident hot spot and would add traffic to an existing busy road.”

Peter Boros, of Reading Road, said: “While technically this site sits within the parish of Harpsden, its impact will be on the Shiplake villages principally and not on Harpsden or Henley. The local infrastructure of services, education, doctor’s surgeries and the road system will all be completely overloaded and inadequate to cater for yet more houses in this locality.”

Geoffrey Thomas, of Mill Road, said: “Lower Shiplake lacks the infrastructure and facilities to take yet another development of this size and it would only result in further motor traffic and pollution.

“This proposal is not infill and would be the final nail in the coffin for the northern entrance to the village of Lower Shiplake, turning what was a rural Oxfordshire setting — and is now just about clinging on to the description of semi-rural — into what can only be termed Surrey-style ribbon suburbia.”

The development would comprise a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses with one to five bedrooms. Eight would be affordable properties in line with planning policy.

If the scheme is approved, it would bring the number of homes due to be built along a short stretch of the A4155 to 234, more than seven times the number allocated to Shiplake three years ago.

The application says: “Following the extensive redevelopment of the surrounding land, the proposed site provides a logical infill development within the built-up residential area of Shiplake.

“The proposal will provide a high-quality residential development that is in keeping with the surroundings and which respects the site’s location in terms of size, scale, height and design.”

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, is due to make a decision by November 17.

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