Sunday, 18 August 2019

Inquiry into ‘extra care’ homes plan

PLANS for a large complex of “extra care” flats and cottages for the elderly near Shiplake will be the subject of a public inquiry next month.

Retirement Villages Group has been refused outline planning permission for up to 65 units on a field opposite the Haileywood Farm industrial estate off Reading Road.

It wanted to build 11 blocks with a total of 50 two-bedroom flats plus 15 double-bed bungalows as well as a clubhouse, gym, meeting room, shop, hair salon, bar and living and dining rooms, offices and 77 parking spaces.

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, said the development would be too large and would erode the green gap between Lower Shiplake and Shiplake Cross. It said residents wouldn’t have easy access to shops and services, especially on foot, and that visibility at the proposed entrance was poor and potentially dangerous.

The council also criticised the lack of “affordable” housing or contributions towards infrastructure and said a more varied mix of housing was needed.

The company has appealed, resulting in the inquiry which will take place at Henley Rugby Club, starting on September 10.

The company submitted an earlier proposal which also included a 40-bed care home but this too was rejected.

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