The Hub Offices to be Converted into Apartments

A planning application to convert The Hub on the corner of Station Road into 18 apartments has been given the green light by South Oxfordshire under a General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).

The site has seen Ressance Limited of Newbury submit a number of planning applications to convert the offices into apartments.  In May 2018 SODC approved a GPDO for 24 apartments.  In October 2018, they submitted another application for 24 apartments with an extra top floor housing 6 residential apartments which was refused by SODC.  Ressance appealed SODC’s decision in January 2020 and this was dismissed in February 2020.

The latest application was submitted in May 2021 and Head of Planning at SODC, Adrian Duffield wrote to Henley Town Council stating:

“As you may be aware the Government has recently introduced extensive measures to increase the scope of development that can be undertaken with the benefit of
permitted development rights. I am writing to make you aware that I am currently processing the above notification that seeks a determination from the District Council as to whether the prior approval of the authority will be required as to –
(a) transport and highways impacts of the development;
(b) contamination risks on the site; and
(c) flooding risks on the site.

The local planning authority is required to take into account any representations made to them as a result of any consultation, although only the impacts and risks listed above can be considered. Unfortunately I am unable to take into account any comments on this notification from your council. I would, however, be grateful if you could hold a copy of this notification in the event that an owner/occupier of neighbouring properties wants to inspect it.

Henley Town Council Planning Committee did therefore not get the chance to review and discuss this application or make any recommendations.

SODC Planning Officer, Simon Kitson has confirmed that 19 nearby neighbours were sent notifications of the latest application, however no comments have been submitted on the planning application portal which seems very strange considering there were 14 respondees on the October 2018 application. In an email to Councillor Ken Arlett he stated, “The proposal was very similar to the last prior approvals at the site (P17/S4219/PDO; P18/S0840/PDO) which preceded the refused planning application for the upper storeys.”