Thursday, 17 June 2021

Inquiry is approved

THE owner of Thames Farm, near Shiplake, has been granted a public inquiry into the rejection of her plans for 95 homes on the site.

Claire Engbers was refused planning permission by South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee in September despite officers recommending approval.

Councillors said the 14-acre site off Reading Road wasn’t included in the Henley and Harpsden joint neighbourhood plan and the development would pose a traffic hazard and spoil the appearance of its

The officers had argued that the neighbourhood plan was invalid as, at the time, the district faced a shortage of housing land.

Now Mrs Engbers has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate and intends to call upon expert witnesses.

She is asking the district council to withdraw its road safety objection as Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, has raised no concerns.

The inspectorate is accepting comments until February 23 but is yet to set a date for the inquiry.

Mrs Engbers is also waiting to hear whether she will be granted another inquiry into an earlier application to build 110 homes on the site.

That scheme was rejected by the council in 2013 and again on appeal the following year but the inspector’s verdict was overturned by the High Court.

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