Monday, 10 August 2020

New plan for block of flats on wooded site

PLANS have been drawn up for a block of flats in Henley.

Terence Bingham is seeking planning permission from South Oxfordshire District Council for a two-storey building on land north of 5 Parkside, which he owns.

The block would house eight flats and the development would include parking space and landscaping.

To accommodate thedevelopment 52 would have to trees be removed.

An arboricultural implications report, by SJA Trees of Tadworth, says that no veteran or ancient trees and none that make an important contribution to the local scene or of high landscape or biodiversity value would be removed.

The site was earmarked for 15 units in a draft version of the joint Henley and Harpsden neighbourhood plan but was withdrawn from later versions.

In 2018 Millgate Homes, of Ruscombe, was refused permission to build a block of 10 flats in Parkside.

The district council said this would “erode the undeveloped, sylvan character of the site”.

The company offered to pay £107,000 for “green off-setting” by planting new trees and £600,000 for affordable housing elsewhere.

Mr Bingham’s application says: “The reasons why the earlier application was refused have been addressed.

“The ecological report confirms the limited ecological value of the site, the absence of any loss of a priority habitat and a conclusion that the proposal secures a net biodiversity gain through the sensitive retention and management of the woodland buffers around the site.”

A public consultation on the plan runs until July 24 and the council hopes to make a decision by August 13.

Meanwhile, plans to demolish a house in Elizabeth Close, Henley, and build four in its place have been recommended for refusal by town councillors.

Hazelwood Estates Holdings wants to build a pair of two-bedroom houses and two three-bedroom properties on the site.

The town council’s planning committee said the plans were “overdevelopment and unneighbourly”.

Planning officer Jodie Rhymes said: “There’s not sufficient space within this site to accommodate four dwellings.

“It does not comply with the design objectives expressed in the neighbourhood plan and a number of policies with the local plan and core strategy.

“I have concerns over the impact of the scale upon the character of the site, the street scene and the wider area.”

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