Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Two new houses too large, say villagers

PLANS for a pair of new houses in Lower Shiplake have been opposed by residents.

Widbrook Property Developments, of Woodley, wants to build the detached “family” homes in Station Road after a previous application for a block of five flats was refused planning permission.

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, felt the block would have been “over-intensification” of the site.

One of the new houses would have two storeys and the other two-and-a-half.

Neighbours say they would not be in keeping with the area.

Timothy Green, who lives in Station Road, said: “This application continues a history of attempts to over-intensify the use of what, in relation to the neighbourhood, is a single house plot.

“Indeed, the design purports to mimic one house. However, this results in buildings containing a total of nine bedrooms and six parking spaces. The combined footprint is well outside that of the rest of Station Road.

“To reflect the character and appearance of the surrounding neighbourhood, this plot should be developed as a single family home surrounded by a garden, affording ample space.”

Clive Duncan, also of Station Road, said: “Shiplake has managed to hold on to a tenuous identity, which is fast changing with large developments.

“The notion of squeezing two large houses together with an unnecessary car park for a fleet of cars may be perfectly suitable for town housing but in a small place like Shiplake it would introduce a new aesthetic.”

Geoffrey Thomas, of Mill Road, said: “It still represents over-development of the site in terms of bulk and intensity of use.

“It would look out of character with the spacious setting of the houses in Station Road. It would overbear on the neighbouring property and the balcony windows would overlook and impinge on the privacy of those neighbours.”

A planning statement submitted by B-DBM, an architectural and project management company, says: “Recently, planning was sought for a single building containing five flats to address the local need for smaller, more affordable housing, but was refused.

“This proposal reduces intensification and vehicle movements to two family dwellings… in keeping with other properties along Station Road.

“Both houses are designed with a single storey element to the rear to maximise floor space while reducing the impact on the neighbouring buildings. Both the flat roof sections would be covered in a living green roof.”

The district council is due to make a decision by August 31.

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