Sunday, 21 April 2019

Store boss refused permission for four new houses

A BUSINESSMAN’S plans for four new homes in Watlington has been thrown out.

Errol Facy, owner of a Henley department store, wanted to build a pair of two-bedroom cottages and two four- or five-bedroom houses off Brook Street.

But South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, refused the application on the grounds that it would increase the volume of traffic. Its decision notice states: “The proposed development would result in vehicular trips through a sensitive part of the highway network in Watlington, which already experiences unacceptable levels of congestion.

“Furthermore, the proposal would involve the intensification in the use of an access point which does not benefit from adequate visibility splays. The council considers that the residual cumulative traffic impacts of this proposed development would be unacceptable and would meet the criteria of ‘severe harm’.

“The harmful impact upon highway safety would undermine the public benefits.”

The proposal was said to be the first major challenge to the town’s neighbourhood plan, which was approved at a referendum in June and did not allocate the land for development. The parish council had objected.

In 2016 Mr Facy applied for permission for five homes on the land but withdrew his application after objections from residents. He had revised the site layout in the latest application, saying it avoided the floodplain and minimal excavation would be required for the main access with little risk of damaging the mature trees.

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