Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Retirement homes plan snubbed for third time

PLANS to build 55 flats on the site of the former Jet garage in Henley have

PLANS to build 55 flats on the site of the former Jet garage in Henley have been recommended for refusal for a third time.

The town council’s planning committee says the scheme should be turned down because it does not offer the minimum amount of “affordable” housing.

The site on the corner of Mill Lane and Reading Road has been bought by retirement home developers McCarthy and Stone.

Deputy Mayor Julian Brookes said the company wanted to build 21 affordable flats instead of the required 22 as part of the development. Instead, it was offering to pay for an extra affordable home elsewhere in the town.

Affordable homes are fixed at 80 per cent of their market price and must make up 40 per cent of major housing developments.

Councillor Will Hamilton said: “I think we’re setting a dangerous precedent if we let them go below 40 per cent and I don’t feel comfortable with that.

“We should reject it as it won’t comply with our neighbourhood plan’s policies on affordable housing.”

Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said: “This is a substantial development and they should be able to accommodate the quota.”

The committee voted to recommend the development is refused planning permission by South Oxfordshire District Council and said the plan should be amended to include one more affordable unit.

Inland Homes, which took over the site in 2013, submitted the first planning application in January.

The committee objected to the design so the company revised it to include more green space.

Councillors were happy with the changes but recommended rejection as no information was provided about affordable housing.

The site is one of 11 earmarked for housing in the draft joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan, which is due to go to a referendum next year.

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