Monday, 22 April 2019

Garage to move with support of residents

THE owner of a garage in Sonning Common has thanked the community for their support after he was granted planning permission to relocate.

Gary Catt, who runs Mike Farina Garage in Sedgewell Road, will be moving to Kidby’s Yard, off Kennylands Road.

He is being forced to leave the business’s base of more than 40 years as the landowner wants to sell the site for housing.

Dozens of residents wrote letters of support to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, telling them how important the business was to the village.

Mr Catt said: “I’m overwhelmed by the number of people who have supported me. I’ve had personal emails and some people have come into the garage.

“It’s quite amazing. You don’t know how much support you have until something like this happens.

“The parish council has been phenomenal in plugging away and helping me.”

He said it was important for the business to be in the centre of the village.

“It especially helps our older customers with no way to get back home other than to walk if they don’t have family who can give them a lift,” said Mr Catt.

The move will also allow the business to start offering MOT testing and buy some new equipment.

Some residents of Kennylands Road had raised concerns about noise and parking.

Mr Catt revised his plans to include acoustic barrier fencing, extra landscaping and new types of shutter doors to help alleviate any noise.

He said: “I’m sure there are not going to be any issues.”

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