At the Henley Town Council Planning Meeting this week, the application to build a new substation which is required to support the new retail development at Market Place Mews on three car parking spaces in the area next to King’s Arm Barn was recommended for refusal. Oxfordshire County Council Highway Authority have also recommended refusal on the grounds that “The proposal would result in the loss of three car parking spaces which cannot be re-provided within the vicinity.”
Catalyst Capital who own the site said in their application that “The applicant has engaged with officers from South Oxfordshire District Council’s (SODC) property and car parking teams in respect of the proposed development and it has been confirmed that there is no in-principle objection to the loss of spaces. The applicant has endeavoured to re-provide these lost spaces within the Kings Road car park by virtue of liaising with SODC. However, SODC has confirmed that there is nowhere within the car park to re-provide these lost spaces.”
The planning application approved in 2007 was for 14 residential and 10 retailer units.
David Whitehead, Chair of the Planning Committee of the Henley Society is calling for a complete new planning application to be made, he said, “There have been at least four planning applications seeking modifications to the scheme approved in 2007. The Henley Society did, of course, object to this last one for the substation. However it should be noted in relation to car parking that the scheme will, in any event, result in the loss of about 40 or more privately owned but regularly used spaces. Where will these 40 vehicles go in the future?”
“The Henley Society recommended in August 2016, in relation to the planning application P16/S2397 to remove condition 25 – building the raised table and footpath improvements prior to the development starting that ‘Catalyst Capital should submit a new and updated application for the whole scheme to meet the current circumstances’. The Society predicted at that time that P16/S2397 would be the first of many such modifications. It was particularly concerned that, since the 2007 planning permission, the national and local priorities for retail and restaurant development had changed and also that the stated intention of the developers to attract ‘higher end operators’ was incompatible with the cramped and overbearing design of the new buildings with a narrow walkway between them. It is worth remembering that when the plans were under discussion in 2006-2007, there was strong public opposition to them.”
The target decision date by SODC is 30 March 2017.