Thursday, 15 April 2021

Developer appeals over flats rejection

A DEVELOPER is appealing against the rejection of its plans for a block of five flats in Shiplake.

Widbrook Developments was refused planning permission last year for the two-and-a-half storey building between two of the oldest houses in Station Road.

Each flat would have two or three-bedrooms plus a shared garden and parking.

South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee refused the application on the grounds that it would be overdevelopment and out of keeping with the surroundings despite planning officers recommending approval.

Scores of residents sent letters of objection and Shiplake Parish Council was also opposed, saying the flats would have “an unacceptably adverse impact” on neighbours.

In its appeal, Widbrook argues the officers’ advice was correct and, in fact, the scheme was scaled down on their advice to improve its chances of being approved.

The roof was reduced in height and then stepped to reduce its visual impact.

Widbrook says the building would look like a single house with one entrance so would blend in with its surroundings and would be of a similarly size to neighbouring properties,

The block would also take up only 18 per cent of its land so there would be “generous” space for a garden and other amenities.

Widbrook says: “The proposed scheme providing smaller units of accommodation aligns with the Government’s aim to make the best use of available land. The design is sympathetic to the definiting characteristics of Station Road and the neighbouring dwellings. Contrary to the council’s reasons for refusal, the proposal would have no detrimental impact.”

The site was once part of an adjacent property called The Gables, a two-and-a-half storey house dating from the Edwardian era. The house opposite, known as The Oaks, is the same height and is thought to have been the first dwelling built in that area.

Widbrook’s appeal will be decided through written representations. Comments are being accepted until April 16 with a decision date to be confirmed.

More News:

POLL: Have your say