Saturday, 19 June 2021

Decision on pub conversion delayed by access problem

A DECISION on whether to allow a former Peppard pub to be converted into a house has been deferred.

 South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee said it wanted its officers to negotiate with the developer, RG9 Living of London, over access to the site of the former Dog Inn.

Officers had recommended approval of the application to convert the former pub and restaurant into a three-bedroom house.

The developer wants to extend the property and create three parking spaces within a courtyard accessed from the loop road off the B481, known locally as a lay-by.

This would give access to the property as well as to the new site of Peppard Primary School, which is due to move from Church Lane. The road also serves as the entry to Greys Green Golf Club and two cottages.

The school was granted permission to relocate in 2011 and will use the loop road for access by pupils and staff arriving by vehicle and on foot.

Fiona Berry, a parish councillor, and Ian Heriot, a governor of the school, both spoke at the committee meeting to express their concerns.

Councillor Berry said the parish council did not oppose the plans but thought the house should be accessed via Dog Lane rather than the loop road.

Mr Heriot, who lives in Church Lane, also argued for the access to be changed. He said that once the school had moved then drivers reversing from the house into the road would put children at risk.

Last month, Mr Heriot told the Henley Standard: “While not opposing the conversion of this building to residential use, the school has material concerns regarding the proposed vehicular access and parking arrangements.

“The assumption in the technical note that vehicles will reverse into the parking area and drive out in a forwards direction is highly questionable and would be an unenforceable condition. Experience shows that most people enter a parking space in a forwards direction and exit by reversing.

“This is an undesirable and potentially dangerous manoeuvre in the ‘lay-by’ at a point adjacent to the school entrance. It is considered desirable that conditions should be attached to the consent to ensure that traffic exiting [the house] enters the lay-by in a forwards direction either by relocating the vehicle access to Dog Lane or substantially enlarging the parking area to provide adequate on-site manoeuvring space and installing a small island to provide a mini ‘gyratory’ so that traffic flows in and out in one direction.”

Keith Neill-Smith, for the developer, said it had considered changing the access to Dog Lane but decided against as it was narrow and would means cars parked closer to the neighbouring property and a loss of trees.

He added that the development would enhance the conservation area by removing unsightly lean-tos while conserving historic parts of the building.

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