Monday, 06 July 2020

Developer wants to build block of flats between houses

A DEVELOPER has submitted plans to build a block of five flats in Shiplake.

Widbrook Developments wants to build the two-and-a-half storey building between two of the oldest houses in Station Road.

The flats would have two or three bedrooms and there would be a communal garden, parking and cycle storage.

The site used to be part of an adjacent property known as The Gables, a two-and-a-half storey house dating from the Edwardian period. The house on the other side, known as The Oaks, is also two-and-a-half storeys and is thought to have been the first dwelling built on this stretch of Station Road.

The application says the flats would be constructed off-site using manufactured super-insulated timber frames with mechanically ventilated heat recovery systems.

The design also includes solar panels and heating via a ground source heat pump.

Widbrook says the flats would meet the need for smaller properties in the village and provide opportunities for existing residents to downsize.

It also says that the broad principle of development has been agreed. In March 2015 planning permission was granted for a large detached home with an annexe on the site and the following year an application for a smaller house was approved. Work began in 2018 but was not completed.

The application says: “The proposed building has been designed to be of a traditional form to best respect and reflect the prevailing ‘villa tradition’ character of the surrounding area… [and] to give the appearance of a single dwelling. The height and width would be comparable to neighbouring dwellings.”

Parking would be provided to the front of the building with 10 spaces in two perpendicular rows, including one disabled space and two electric vehicle charging bays. Twelve cycle parking spaces would be provided.

The existing vehicular access would be relocated from the centre of the site to the eastern boundary. A separate, gated pedestrian access would be provided on the western boundary allowing access to the bin and cycle stores. Two trees would be removed and replaced like for like and two others would be removed and replanted.

The application adds: “Any increase in vehicle movements would not be anticipated to result in an unacceptable impact on the local road network or highway safety. Furthermore, the site lies in a sustainable location offering transport modes other than the private car for a number of daily trips including walking, cycling, bus and train.”

Shiplake Parish Council has objected on the grounds of the block’s size and mass, which it said would have “an unacceptably adverse impact” on the properties either side.

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, is due to make a decision by June 16.

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