Amended Plans for Retirement Living Complex at Smith Centre

Revised plans have been submitted for a proposed retirement living complex at The Smith Centre on the Fairmile.

The plans are now to reduce the number of apartments to 108 from 115 with the removal of the front and side portions of the upper floors to bring down the overall massing of the building outline. From the front of the building it would been seen as four storeys in height rather than a stepped up five as originally submitted.  Amendments have been made to the windows on the upper and lower floors to lessen the extent of glazing and now incorporates wooden panels.

There have been also been amendments to the landscaping, cycle stores and car parking in the amended plans too.

The Chilterns Conservation Board have commented on the latest plans ” These revisions are moving in the right direction; however, this sensitive location on the portals of Henley and very much within the AONB context still requires further revision. The SODC landscape officer’s comments of April 2023 set out, comprehensively, the need to (1) reduce the footprint, greater mass and height when compared to the existing and especially the ‘baseline’ of the Gunderson Building, and (2) the need for development to be below the wooded backdrop, especially when viewed from the east. Thus the revisions promoted at that stage sought a reduction in the scale, layout, and mass to reflect the AONB location and with the goal of avoiding the ‘prominent, somewhat incongruous’ design treatment as critiqued.”

Henley Town Council reviewed the amended plans this week at their planning meeting and recommended refusal again based on the same observations they have made on previous plans “Recommend refusal on the grounds that the site is not allocated in either the South Oxfordshire Local Plan or the Joint Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan. The development would not accord does not offer affordable housing being proposed. It would result in overdevelopment in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the scale being out of keeping with the area. This type of development is not needed for the Town.”

The full application can be viewed at Planning Application P22/S3033/FUL (



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