Thursday, 11 August 2022

Decision on homes deferred

A DECISION on plans to redevelop a derelict garden centre near Shiplake for homes and offices has been deferred.

Aida Dellal, who owns the old Wyevale site off the A4155 through her company Dairy Lane, wants to build up to 40 new houses plus commercial units and possibly a community centre on the 4.5-acre plot.

The application was due to be considered by South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday last week and was recommended for approval by officers.

But councillors deferred their decision in order to carry out a site visit and look again at the viability study.

An independent consultant who reviewed Mrs Dellal’s business case for the council concluded that a commercial development only would not be viable.

The plans are opposed by Harpsden and Shiplake parish councils, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Henley Society and the Chiltern Society as well as 15 residents.

Opponents say the development would place undue pressure on surrounding infrastructure, particularly roads and schools in Henley, while eroding the green boundary between Henley and Shiplake.

But Oxfordshire County Council, the highways and education authority, says the traffic increase wouldn’t be big enough to justify objecting and there is enough space in the area’s schools for any new children.

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