Sunday, 14 August 2022

Too little parking space, say councillors

HENLEY needs more car parking space, say town councillors.

They suggested adding a deck at the Greys Road car park or creating an underground section.

Members of the town council’s planning committee were discussing South Oxfordshire District Council’s new draft local plan, which identifies housing, retail and employment land over the next 16 years as well as the infrastructure required to support growth.

The plan says the district council will support proposals that “improve accessibility, car parking in the town centre and pedestrian and cycle links”.

Deputy Mayor Lorraine Hillier said that adding a deck to the Greys Road car park would be “interesting”, adding: “Greys Road is the least offensive.”

Councillor Will Hamilton suggested going underground but Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, who is also a district and county councillor, said: “There’s absolutely no way they are going to create an underground car park in Henley — the cost would be enormous.”

The district council had earmarked £770,000 towards adding a deck toKing’s Road car park but the plans were put on hold last year.

Committee chairman Ken Arlett said: “They have never improved the car parking, they have never improved cycle links.

“You have bullet points like that but what does it mean? Does it look good with an inspector, or are the district council going to action things like that?”

Councillor Jane Smewing said there were a lot of “apple pie wish lists” in the plan.

Members also said they wanted to change the wording of the document so that new housing developments with 11 or more properties had to include at least 40 per cent “affordable”.

Councillor Arlett also pointed out there was there was no mention of doctors’ surgeries in the “infrastructure provision” section of the document.

Councillor Hinton added: “We’re bursting at the seams — a lot of people go to Nettlebed.”

Town clerk Janet Wheeler suggested asking the district council for a specific policy that gave protection to the Fair Mile as a “special place”.

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