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Residents in vow to fight 'alien' block
RESIDENTS and councillors are fighting to defeat revised plans for an “alien” apartment block in the centre of Botley.
Vale of White Horse District Council gave planning permission in April for a block in West Way of 12 apartments despite concerns.
A revised plan has now been submitted by removing duplex apartments and adding balconies, changing the exterior.
A district council planning officer has recommended councillors approve the three-storey plan, which would result in the demolition of two houses.
But North Hinksey Parish Council said in a response to the council: “The proposal would introduce an alien form of building into this area.”
It said the Cantay Estates plan is too large and “does not take into account the local distinctiveness and character of other flats”.
The 17 planned parking spaces is inadequate, it warned, and would “generate pollution and be noisy”.
A Seacourt Road resident told the Vale they were “very concerned” by the plan, for two-bedroom flats, as it borders their garden.
Adding they were “saddened” by the loss of single homes, they added: “I’m not against progress but little thought is given to the people it affects the most.”
Suzy Vecchietti, who also lives in the street, told the council she was concerned about light pollution, noise and loss of privacy.
She added: “Is ample parking being provided for residents and their visitors? I ask this as someone who knows how impossible it is to park on Eynsham Road.”
Debby Hallett, a councillor for North Hinksey and Wytham, said the plan was “out of character” and said Botley has too many flats to rent.
She said: “This ‘always for let’ atmosphere makes this look like an over-developed, high density, undesirable place to live. We have an over-supply of flats in the area.”
Vale planning officer Stuart Walker said the “unashamedly modern” building had adequate parking and “respects the amenity and privacy” of neighbours.
He said: “It will not detract from the character of the area and will not harm residential amenity or highway safety.”
Henry Venners, the agent for the scheme, told the Oxford Mail further revised plans would be submitted if it is refused.
It had been revised at the request of Cantay, which came on board after the April permission, he said.
Members of the Vale’s planning committee will be asked to make a decision at its meeting on Wednesday at Abbey House, Abingdon at 6.30pm. The public can attend.