Friday, 27 November 2020

Shopkeeper applies to build flats above shop

A SHOPKEEPER wants to rebuild his store with four new flats above it.

A SHOPKEEPER wants to rebuild his store with four new flats above it.

Amardeep Takar has applied for planning permission to demolish Takar Wine Mart in Greys Road and construct a new building with a shop and pharmacy on the ground floor and the flats above, three with two bedrooms and the other with one.

The current property has an off-licence, convenience store and newsagents as well as a two-bedroom flat on the first floor.

Mr Takar has run the business for the last 10 years but it has been in his family for 30 years.

He said the shop hadn’t been refurbished in 25 years.

“It’s a popular shop but it’s crying out for a remodel,” he said. “We’ve asked residents and they told us it would be very beneficial to them if there was a chemist.

“We’ve not come across any complaints and have had a lot of positive reaction. With the demand on Henley at the moment to create new housing this could knock four homes off the list. It’s much better to re-use brownfield sites rather than sacrificing land.”

Mr Takar, who lives in Gillotts Lane and also owns a design company, said he planned to combine the off-licence, convenience store and newsagents into one shop with a separate chemists. He said that windows overlooking neighbours at the back would be removed.

Henley Town Council and Oxfordshire County Council have both objected because there would be no parking on site, meaning people living in the flats would have to park in Greys Road.

Councillor David Silvester, a member of the town council’s planning committee, said: “There might be six or seven cars and parking down that road is terrible anyway.”

Councillor Sam Evans said the issue of parking was “massive”, adding: “I thought that new developments had to provide parking.”

Mr Takar said he didn’t include on-site parking as the planning guidelines recommended that developers encouraged the use of public transport.

Any residents with cars would be able to use the spaces at the top of Greys Road and there would be storage for bicycles by the entrance to the flats.

Mr Takar said: “Greys Hill is maxed out with cars but the top part of Greys Road is not utilised at all. There are no houses to disturb and parking is completely unrestricted.

“We think it’s close enough to the town’s facilities. It promotes the use of public transport with two bus stops just outside and the station a short walk away.”

The Henley Society said it had no concerns subject to the views of neighbours.

The application will be considered by South Oxfordshire District Council next month.

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