Flats plan for former pub is facing refusal

PLANS to convert a city centre pub into six flats could be refused after a developer declined to contribute to social housing.

Members of the city council’s west area planning committee have been urged to refuse permission for the conversion of the Maroon pub on the corner of Oxpens Road and St Thomas Street when they meet on Thursday.

Under the council’s new sites and housing plan, developments of between four and nine homes must come with a contribution towards social housing in the city equal to 15 per cent of the sale value.

But developer Saxonville Ltd said it wouldn’t be viable to make the contribution, estimated to be more than £200,000.

In their report to the committee, planners said the applicant had not used the highest value for the site supplied by surveyors to work out its viability, and had used high building costs estimates, which it couldn’t justify.

The report said: “Having regard to the numerous flaws in the viability assessment, officers consider that it does not provide a robust justification to deviate away from the standard policy requirement for an affordable housing contribution.”

The pub, which was previously known as The Chequers, closed in 2011 and was bought by the developer for £482,121.

Related links

The planning bid was submitted in August last year and attracted letters of objection from the Oxford Civic Society and Beckett Street resident Richard Jelfs Mr Jelfs said: “I object to this development because of the on-street parking being a big issue.

“We are a central area location with flats and houses dominating the area and parking becoming a big issue at the moment. Parking is a nightmare to all local residents.

“I don’t see why we should have more flats unless they can supply parking on site, not street parking, as this seems unfair. It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals.”

Kate Joyce, from the Oxford Civic Society, said: “In our opinion too many small houses are proposed.

“The cycle and bin area at the end of the building on Hollybush Row shows spaces for six cycles, which does not comply with Oxford City Council guidelines and requirements.

“There doesn’t appear to be room to move two of the cycles without moving at least one of the bins.”

The Oxford Mail tried to contact Saxonville, but received no response.

The west area planning committee will meet at 6pm on Thursday at the Town Hall.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:41pm Mon 4 Feb 13

rabbitrr says...

Funny how there's one set of rules for private individuals and companies, yet theres a totally different set for others....

Picture this... A-n company or individual wish to do business somewhere and to gain that business hand over a sum of money / property to someone in order to 'grease the wheels' without it the business does not go ahead. According to both UK and US law it would be classed as a bribe, illegal and the individuals concerned likely to be jailed.

Now, we have a developer, who has bought a property to develope into housing yet they are told that unless they pay a substatial amount into the cities social housing fund (run, I assume by the council) they will not get
the planning permissions for the development (planning is also run by the council I believe?)

Where's the difference? The first is definitely requiring a bribe so the business deal can go ahead, therefore going by that standard so does the second.

The developer was right to tell the council to go do one.
Funny how there's one set of rules for private individuals and companies, yet theres a totally different set for others.... Picture this... A-n company or individual wish to do business somewhere and to gain that business hand over a sum of money / property to someone in order to 'grease the wheels' without it the business does not go ahead. According to both UK and US law it would be classed as a bribe, illegal and the individuals concerned likely to be jailed. Now, we have a developer, who has bought a property to develope into housing yet they are told that unless they pay a substatial amount into the cities social housing fund (run, I assume by the council) they will not get the planning permissions for the development (planning is also run by the council I believe?) Where's the difference? The first is definitely requiring a bribe so the business deal can go ahead, therefore going by that standard so does the second. The developer was right to tell the council to go do one. rabbitrr
  • Score: 0

9:53pm Mon 4 Feb 13

rabbitrr says...

If I was the developer, should my application be turned down and as some of the locals seem to want the place to remain as a pub then I would return it to it's original use, a pub.

The fact that the opening hours would go on until say 3am, drinks would be sold at cost plus say 2% and loud beat orientated music played would be coincidental

It wouldnt take long for the planning to come through, meantime I might even make more money from the pub once I get enough p*ss heads thru the doors!
If I was the developer, should my application be turned down and as some of the locals seem to want the place to remain as a pub then I would return it to it's original use, a pub. The fact that the opening hours would go on until say 3am, drinks would be sold at cost plus say 2% and loud beat orientated music played would be coincidental It wouldnt take long for the planning to come through, meantime I might even make more money from the pub once I get enough p*ss heads thru the doors! rabbitrr
  • Score: 0

7:54am Tue 5 Feb 13

Sid Hunt says...

"Richard Jelfs Mr Jelfs said: “I object to this development because of the on-street parking being a big issue.

“We are a central area location with flats and houses dominating the area and parking becoming a big issue at the moment. Parking is a nightmare to all local residents."

Presumably, Mr Jelfs parks his vehicle on the public highway yet he objects to others doing the same. Being in a "central location area" residents have the greatest access to public transport services and nearby employment. One assumes that is why they live in the area.

Will six flats really impact the parking? The planners saw fit to grant conversion of The Cavalier pub (Northway) into 53 student dwellings citing no impact due to student vehicles.
"Richard Jelfs Mr Jelfs said: “I object to this development because of the on-street parking being a big issue. “We are a central area location with flats and houses dominating the area and parking becoming a big issue at the moment. Parking is a nightmare to all local residents." Presumably, Mr Jelfs parks his vehicle on the public highway yet he objects to others doing the same. Being in a "central location area" residents have the greatest access to public transport services and nearby employment. One assumes that is why they live in the area. Will six flats really impact the parking? The planners saw fit to grant conversion of The Cavalier pub (Northway) into 53 student dwellings citing no impact due to student vehicles. Sid Hunt
  • Score: 0

9:44am Tue 5 Feb 13

Paul0 says...

Some curious objections here.
"It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals". Well, they do have a pub right NEXT DOOR to this property, and many other pubs within walking distance.
"too many small houses are proposed": Too many? Surely small houses are precisely the kind that are currently most in demand and most over-priced.
As for the social housing contribution: Will somebody please tell me what this "social" or "affordable" housing actually is and who is entitled to it? I have never found out. All I see is that the social housing requirement is, paradoxically, discouraging house-building. The solution to a housing shortage and inflated prices is to build more houses -- not to build a few "affordable" houses and subsidise them by charging even more for the other non-affordable houses.
Some curious objections here. "It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals". Well, they do have a pub right NEXT DOOR to this property, and many other pubs within walking distance. "too many small houses are proposed": Too many? Surely small houses are precisely the kind that are currently most in demand and most over-priced. As for the social housing contribution: Will somebody please tell me what this "social" or "affordable" housing actually is and who is entitled to it? I have never found out. All I see is that the social housing requirement is, paradoxically, discouraging house-building. The solution to a housing shortage and inflated prices is to build more houses -- not to build a few "affordable" houses and subsidise them by charging even more for the other non-affordable houses. Paul0
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

The planning bid was submitted in August last year and attracted letters of objection from the Oxford Civic Society and Beckett Street resident Richard Jelfs Mr Jelfs said: “I object to this development because of the on-street parking being a big issue.

“We are a central area location with flats and houses dominating the area and parking becoming a big issue at the moment. Parking is a nightmare to all local residents.

Looks like they bunged the wrong councillor, as that objection is not a problem on Cowley Road.
The planning bid was submitted in August last year and attracted letters of objection from the Oxford Civic Society and Beckett Street resident Richard Jelfs Mr Jelfs said: “I object to this development because of the on-street parking being a big issue. “We are a central area location with flats and houses dominating the area and parking becoming a big issue at the moment. Parking is a nightmare to all local residents. Looks like they bunged the wrong councillor, as that objection is not a problem on Cowley Road. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Tue 5 Feb 13

King Joke says...

Paul0 wrote:
Some curious objections here. "It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals". Well, they do have a pub right NEXT DOOR to this property, and many other pubs within walking distance. "too many small houses are proposed": Too many? Surely small houses are precisely the kind that are currently most in demand and most over-priced. As for the social housing contribution: Will somebody please tell me what this "social" or "affordable" housing actually is and who is entitled to it? I have never found out. All I see is that the social housing requirement is, paradoxically, discouraging house-building. The solution to a housing shortage and inflated prices is to build more houses -- not to build a few "affordable" houses and subsidise them by charging even more for the other non-affordable houses.
The solution to the housing shortage is to build more houses, but who is going to pay for them? That's the idea behind the affordable housing obligation. Either you build a certain %age as affordable or pay for an equivalent number to be built elsewhere.

Left to their own devices developers would only build for the maximum profit and price way above the level affordable by the people that need them.
[quote][p][bold]Paul0[/bold] wrote: Some curious objections here. "It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals". Well, they do have a pub right NEXT DOOR to this property, and many other pubs within walking distance. "too many small houses are proposed": Too many? Surely small houses are precisely the kind that are currently most in demand and most over-priced. As for the social housing contribution: Will somebody please tell me what this "social" or "affordable" housing actually is and who is entitled to it? I have never found out. All I see is that the social housing requirement is, paradoxically, discouraging house-building. The solution to a housing shortage and inflated prices is to build more houses -- not to build a few "affordable" houses and subsidise them by charging even more for the other non-affordable houses.[/p][/quote]The solution to the housing shortage is to build more houses, but who is going to pay for them? That's the idea behind the affordable housing obligation. Either you build a certain %age as affordable or pay for an equivalent number to be built elsewhere. Left to their own devices developers would only build for the maximum profit and price way above the level affordable by the people that need them. King Joke
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Grunden Skip says...

King Joke wrote:
Paul0 wrote:
Some curious objections here. "It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals". Well, they do have a pub right NEXT DOOR to this property, and many other pubs within walking distance. "too many small houses are proposed": Too many? Surely small houses are precisely the kind that are currently most in demand and most over-priced. As for the social housing contribution: Will somebody please tell me what this "social" or "affordable" housing actually is and who is entitled to it? I have never found out. All I see is that the social housing requirement is, paradoxically, discouraging house-building. The solution to a housing shortage and inflated prices is to build more houses -- not to build a few "affordable" houses and subsidise them by charging even more for the other non-affordable houses.
The solution to the housing shortage is to build more houses, but who is going to pay for them? That's the idea behind the affordable housing obligation. Either you build a certain %age as affordable or pay for an equivalent number to be built elsewhere.

Left to their own devices developers would only build for the maximum profit and price way above the level affordable by the people that need them.
A bit like the bus prices in Oxford, no reduction for those that can't afford £3 for a half mile trip.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Paul0[/bold] wrote: Some curious objections here. "It would be nice to see it actually stay as a public house for locals". Well, they do have a pub right NEXT DOOR to this property, and many other pubs within walking distance. "too many small houses are proposed": Too many? Surely small houses are precisely the kind that are currently most in demand and most over-priced. As for the social housing contribution: Will somebody please tell me what this "social" or "affordable" housing actually is and who is entitled to it? I have never found out. All I see is that the social housing requirement is, paradoxically, discouraging house-building. The solution to a housing shortage and inflated prices is to build more houses -- not to build a few "affordable" houses and subsidise them by charging even more for the other non-affordable houses.[/p][/quote]The solution to the housing shortage is to build more houses, but who is going to pay for them? That's the idea behind the affordable housing obligation. Either you build a certain %age as affordable or pay for an equivalent number to be built elsewhere. Left to their own devices developers would only build for the maximum profit and price way above the level affordable by the people that need them.[/p][/quote]A bit like the bus prices in Oxford, no reduction for those that can't afford £3 for a half mile trip. Grunden Skip
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree