Approval For More Apartments at The Hub But With Conditions

The Hub offices in Station Road has obtained permitted development rights approval to build seven extra apartments at a third floor level within the roof space however with a number of conditions issued by South Oxfordshire District Council.

Over the years, the site has seen a number of controversial planning applications to convert the offices into apartments.  In May 2018 SODC approved a permitted development order 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 Limited of Newbury appealed SODC’s decision in January 2020 and this was dismissed in February 2020.  In May 2021 SODC approved a PDO for 18 apartments.

When Henley Town Council Planning Committee reviewed this application in February 2023 they said it was not suitable under permitted development rights and that they wanted to see an illustration showing the outside elevation and a street scene submitted.  They were also concerns about the parking allocation at the site.

In June Hub Property Management Co Limited submitted a Heritage report with regards to the concerns raised by the SODC Conservation Officer.  The Conservation Officer on receipt of the report concluded, “The submitted heritage statement has provided a detailed assessment of the proposed changes to The Hub against the existing character of the area and the way in which designated heritage assets (the Imperial Hotel) are experienced. Overall, I am satisfied that the assessment has shown that the modest increase in massing, although perceptible in the street scene, would not encroach on the Landmark qualities of the Imperial Hotel or significantly inhibit the manner in which it can be read and understood as one moves through this part of the conservation area.”

The conditions put on the development by SODC are:

  1. No development shall take place until a photographic schedule of all materials to be used in the external construction and finishes of the development be submitted and approved.
  2. Prior to the commencement of development a detailed plan showing provision of car parking spaces to be provided within the site in accordance with the District Council’s adopted car parking standards shall be submitted to and approved and the parking spaces shall be laid out, surfaced, drained and completed to be compliant with sustainable drainage (SuDS).  Thereafter the car parking spaces shall be retained unobstructed except for the parking of vehicles associated with the development at all times.
  3. Approval of  above slab level, details of cycle parking facilities shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The cycle parking shall be implemented prior to first use of the development and thereafter.
  4. Prior to first occupation of the residential units, a Travel Information Pack shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval. The first residents of
    each new dwelling shall be provided with a copy of the approved Travel Information Pack.
  5. No development shall take place until a detailed scheme for protecting the dwellings from the external noise environment of the area has been submitted
    to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme itself shall be designed, specified and constructed so that the sound insulation performance of the structure and the layout of the dwellings is such that the indoor ambient noise levels do not exceed British Standard levels.
  6. The developer shall confirm in writing to the Local Planning Authority the presence of any unsuspected contamination encountered during the development. In the event of any contamination to the land and/or water being encountered, no development shall continue until a programme of investigation and/or remedial works to include methods of monitoring and certification of such works undertaken.
  7. The windows in the north eastern elevation serving bedrooms 39 and 40 hereby permitted shall be glazed in obscure glass with a minimum of level 3
    obscurity, and shall be fixed shut with the exception of a top hung openable fanlight prior to the first occupation of the accommodation and it shall be retained as such thereafter.

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