The call in application for the assisted living development at the old Jet Garage that was submitted by Henley Town Council last month to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been rejected as it is not an issue of ‘national interest’ and they have said that the development is ‘close’ to the original Neighbourhood Plan.
The Mayor, Councillor Julian Brookes said, “Although it’s not nationally important, it is very important to us that we provide 40% of affordable homes. McCarthy & Stone have offered a section 106 sill payment of £800,000 which they don’t legally have to for a retirement development. This doesn’t overcome the problem of providing affordable homes in Henley where we are geographically challenged to fit enough homes in.”
“We have learnt an incredible amount from this experience. We will be better prepared if another application is made which contradicts the Neighbourhood Plan. For example, there were 8 letters of support for the McCarthy & Stone application and no letters of objection. We need to make sure that the residents of Henley comment on the application by writing to SODC to make their views clear, especially those who would benefit from affordable housing. We know that it is important to provide for the elderly but we also need people to care for them and therefore need to provide suitable accommodation they can afford and without the need for them to travel long distances and the added expense which goes with this.”