Residents in vow to fight 'alien' block

thisisoxfordshire: The revised plan for 12 apartments at West Way, Botley The revised plan for 12 apartments at West Way, Botley

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.”

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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.

Comments (15)

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1:08pm Tue 9 Oct 12

oafie says...

Over developed with stacks of flats to rent????????? Get a grip Debby Hallett

Really, how come there's so many people looking, as usual those with homes live the I,m alright Jack life...sod off everyone else
Over developed with stacks of flats to rent????????? Get a grip Debby Hallett Really, how come there's so many people looking, as usual those with homes live the I,m alright Jack life...sod off everyone else oafie

1:27pm Tue 9 Oct 12

mandate says...

Those flats look really fresh. Much better than some of the other run-down properties in that area. The locals should be pleased that something tasteful and new is being added to such a boring part of the city.
Those flats look really fresh. Much better than some of the other run-down properties in that area. The locals should be pleased that something tasteful and new is being added to such a boring part of the city. mandate

2:02pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

Nice, I'd be happy to live there, it'll brighten up a dreary area
Nice, I'd be happy to live there, it'll brighten up a dreary area Dilligaf2010

3:27pm Tue 9 Oct 12

paul from Kennington says...

What Debby has to realise is, that with all the new building regulations, and environmental implications regarding "green developments" that the days of building "old style" semi-detached" houses have long gone, and this development is not the future, but the present.
What Debby has to realise is, that with all the new building regulations, and environmental implications regarding "green developments" that the days of building "old style" semi-detached" houses have long gone, and this development is not the future, but the present. paul from Kennington

5:20pm Tue 9 Oct 12

H.J.Harris says...

The drawing makes it look attractive enough to keep an eye on the progress and see which Estate Agent is appointed, I could be interested subject to price, it will be an asset aesthetically to the area.
The drawing makes it look attractive enough to keep an eye on the progress and see which Estate Agent is appointed, I could be interested subject to price, it will be an asset aesthetically to the area. H.J.Harris

5:49pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Looks reasonably attractive.

Shame that there isn't a roof-top garden.
Looks reasonably attractive. Shame that there isn't a roof-top garden. Andrew:Oxford

6:16pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Myron Blatz says...

Yes, absolutely terrible and no architectural taste, or design which is sympathetic to the area - such as Seacourt Tower, that atrocious 1960s/70s monstrosity which started life as a Ford main Dealer (Hartwells?) and offices, with a sharp, pointy thing stuck on the roof to get past planning regulations about the 'dreaming spires' skyline. Nor can one ignore the 1960s/70s shopping precinct at Botley, no matter how many times it has suffered a 'facelift' and increased rents for the retail units. Truth is that developers are only interested in maximising asset returns for minimum outlay - and after 25 years, it's usually more cost-effective to knock everything down, start again and make even more money!
Yes, absolutely terrible and no architectural taste, or design which is sympathetic to the area - such as Seacourt Tower, that atrocious 1960s/70s monstrosity which started life as a Ford main Dealer (Hartwells?) and offices, with a sharp, pointy thing stuck on the roof to get past planning regulations about the 'dreaming spires' skyline. Nor can one ignore the 1960s/70s shopping precinct at Botley, no matter how many times it has suffered a 'facelift' and increased rents for the retail units. Truth is that developers are only interested in maximising asset returns for minimum outlay - and after 25 years, it's usually more cost-effective to knock everything down, start again and make even more money! Myron Blatz

9:30pm Tue 9 Oct 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Yes, absolutely terrible and no architectural taste, or design which is sympathetic to the area - such as Seacourt Tower, that atrocious 1960s/70s monstrosity which started life as a Ford main Dealer (Hartwells?) and offices, with a sharp, pointy thing stuck on the roof to get past planning regulations about the 'dreaming spires' skyline. Nor can one ignore the 1960s/70s shopping precinct at Botley, no matter how many times it has suffered a 'facelift' and increased rents for the retail units. Truth is that developers are only interested in maximising asset returns for minimum outlay - and after 25 years, it's usually more cost-effective to knock everything down, start again and make even more money!
Are you sure that the "dreaming spires" planning regulations of Oxford affected Berkshire in the 60s?
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Yes, absolutely terrible and no architectural taste, or design which is sympathetic to the area - such as Seacourt Tower, that atrocious 1960s/70s monstrosity which started life as a Ford main Dealer (Hartwells?) and offices, with a sharp, pointy thing stuck on the roof to get past planning regulations about the 'dreaming spires' skyline. Nor can one ignore the 1960s/70s shopping precinct at Botley, no matter how many times it has suffered a 'facelift' and increased rents for the retail units. Truth is that developers are only interested in maximising asset returns for minimum outlay - and after 25 years, it's usually more cost-effective to knock everything down, start again and make even more money![/p][/quote]Are you sure that the "dreaming spires" planning regulations of Oxford affected Berkshire in the 60s? Andrew:Oxford

8:41am Wed 10 Oct 12

Sophia says...

NIMYism gone mad.

The "local distinctivenss" of Botley - what a hoot!

Botley has all the charm and distinctiveness of a run down 60s shopping precinct, haunted by run down 60s shoppers, and topped off by the excresence of Seacourt Towers. This building would be a breath of fresh air. So natch, the locals hate it.

Botley should be dynamtied, building by building, covered with earth and planted with trees, and a memorial erected saying NEVER AGAIN
NIMYism gone mad. The "local distinctivenss" of Botley - what a hoot! Botley has all the charm and distinctiveness of a run down 60s shopping precinct, haunted by run down 60s shoppers, and topped off by the excresence of Seacourt Towers. This building would be a breath of fresh air. So natch, the locals hate it. Botley should be dynamtied, building by building, covered with earth and planted with trees, and a memorial erected saying NEVER AGAIN Sophia

10:46am Wed 10 Oct 12

BackontheMainland says...

I think flats should be banned, same as I think battery hens should be...

Lets get back to free range, with gardens for us to enjoy.
I think flats should be banned, same as I think battery hens should be... Lets get back to free range, with gardens for us to enjoy. BackontheMainland

1:07pm Wed 10 Oct 12

NinjaBiscuits says...

BackontheMainland wrote:
I think flats should be banned, same as I think battery hens should be...

Lets get back to free range, with gardens for us to enjoy.
How ridiculous, I hope you're just being facetious! The majority of people wanting a house in Oxford can't afford a flat, let alone a house with gardens! Are you mad? We need lots more flats then maybe one day I can buy myself one, when my pension comes in I expect!
[quote][p][bold]BackontheMainland[/bold] wrote: I think flats should be banned, same as I think battery hens should be... Lets get back to free range, with gardens for us to enjoy.[/p][/quote]How ridiculous, I hope you're just being facetious! The majority of people wanting a house in Oxford can't afford a flat, let alone a house with gardens! Are you mad? We need lots more flats then maybe one day I can buy myself one, when my pension comes in I expect! NinjaBiscuits

5:29pm Thu 11 Oct 12

paul from Kennington says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Myron Blatz wrote:
Yes, absolutely terrible and no architectural taste, or design which is sympathetic to the area - such as Seacourt Tower, that atrocious 1960s/70s monstrosity which started life as a Ford main Dealer (Hartwells?) and offices, with a sharp, pointy thing stuck on the roof to get past planning regulations about the 'dreaming spires' skyline. Nor can one ignore the 1960s/70s shopping precinct at Botley, no matter how many times it has suffered a 'facelift' and increased rents for the retail units. Truth is that developers are only interested in maximising asset returns for minimum outlay - and after 25 years, it's usually more cost-effective to knock everything down, start again and make even more money!
Are you sure that the "dreaming spires" planning regulations of Oxford affected Berkshire in the 60s?
Nice one Andrew, as you know I was a Berkshire baby as well.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Yes, absolutely terrible and no architectural taste, or design which is sympathetic to the area - such as Seacourt Tower, that atrocious 1960s/70s monstrosity which started life as a Ford main Dealer (Hartwells?) and offices, with a sharp, pointy thing stuck on the roof to get past planning regulations about the 'dreaming spires' skyline. Nor can one ignore the 1960s/70s shopping precinct at Botley, no matter how many times it has suffered a 'facelift' and increased rents for the retail units. Truth is that developers are only interested in maximising asset returns for minimum outlay - and after 25 years, it's usually more cost-effective to knock everything down, start again and make even more money![/p][/quote]Are you sure that the "dreaming spires" planning regulations of Oxford affected Berkshire in the 60s?[/p][/quote]Nice one Andrew, as you know I was a Berkshire baby as well. paul from Kennington

8:33pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Richie24 says...

I don't mind the style of architecture, however I am not convinced it will sit well with the surrounding properties, I have seen similar blocks in Kidlington and the whole area has a look of not being planned due to the difference in appearance.
If anyone is foolish enough to think they offer a chance for first time buyers, I think NOT, these will more than likely sell to investors, who will charge a high rent and ensure that no first time buyers who earn even a reasonable wage will never be able to afford them. Wheres the social housing element too? Or have the developers been able to escape that one? The only real winner is the land owner and developer fact!
I don't mind the style of architecture, however I am not convinced it will sit well with the surrounding properties, I have seen similar blocks in Kidlington and the whole area has a look of not being planned due to the difference in appearance. If anyone is foolish enough to think they offer a chance for first time buyers, I think NOT, these will more than likely sell to investors, who will charge a high rent and ensure that no first time buyers who earn even a reasonable wage will never be able to afford them. Wheres the social housing element too? Or have the developers been able to escape that one? The only real winner is the land owner and developer fact! Richie24

12:04am Sat 13 Oct 12

paul from Kennington says...

Richie24 wrote:
I don't mind the style of architecture, however I am not convinced it will sit well with the surrounding properties, I have seen similar blocks in Kidlington and the whole area has a look of not being planned due to the difference in appearance.
If anyone is foolish enough to think they offer a chance for first time buyers, I think NOT, these will more than likely sell to investors, who will charge a high rent and ensure that no first time buyers who earn even a reasonable wage will never be able to afford them. Wheres the social housing element too? Or have the developers been able to escape that one? The only real winner is the land owner and developer fact!
The Vale are generally quite good when securing money for planning deals, but I think this development is below the number for social housing. As for being out of character, they are very similar to the block just round the corner in Elms Road, although I can't imagine what it must be like living in the flats right next to the A34 flyover.
[quote][p][bold]Richie24[/bold] wrote: I don't mind the style of architecture, however I am not convinced it will sit well with the surrounding properties, I have seen similar blocks in Kidlington and the whole area has a look of not being planned due to the difference in appearance. If anyone is foolish enough to think they offer a chance for first time buyers, I think NOT, these will more than likely sell to investors, who will charge a high rent and ensure that no first time buyers who earn even a reasonable wage will never be able to afford them. Wheres the social housing element too? Or have the developers been able to escape that one? The only real winner is the land owner and developer fact![/p][/quote]The Vale are generally quite good when securing money for planning deals, but I think this development is below the number for social housing. As for being out of character, they are very similar to the block just round the corner in Elms Road, although I can't imagine what it must be like living in the flats right next to the A34 flyover. paul from Kennington

11:02am Sun 14 Oct 12

jockox3 says...

We'll see shall we. I happen to be spending both days this weekend delivering housing needs surveys in the Dean Court area. We'll know then whether there are sufficient "flats to rent" in the area or whether many of the comments here are just people with housing pulling up the drawbridge behind them.

Vale of White Horse figures suggest they are wrong. But this will provide pretty empirical data hopefully.
We'll see shall we. I happen to be spending both days this weekend delivering housing needs surveys in the Dean Court area. We'll know then whether there are sufficient "flats to rent" in the area or whether many of the comments here are just people with housing pulling up the drawbridge behind them. Vale of White Horse figures suggest they are wrong. But this will provide pretty empirical data hopefully. jockox3

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