Agenda item

P23/S0268/FUL and P23/S0269/LB - 23 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1AB

Change of use of the ground floor from retail to retail and residential.


The committee considered planning application P23/S0268/FUL and listed building consent application P23/S0269/LB for the change of use of the ground floor from retail to retail and residential, on land at 23 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames.  


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting. 


The planning officer introduced the report and highlighted that the application was called into the committee by a local ward member and due to the objection of Henley Town Council.


The planning officer informed the committee that the application and listed building consent application were for the conversion of the rear of 23 Reading Road into a one bed dwelling whilst retaining the front portion of the building for commercial use, and that the site itself was in the built up area of Henley and in the Henley Conservation Area.


The planning officer also spoke to the committee about the site’s history, noting the 2009 granting of permission for an extension to the rear of the property that was never carried out, and that the current application was similar to that 2009 granted application including a partition in the building to separate the retail at the front of the building from the dwelling at the back.


The planning officer also highlighted to members that the Economic Development team supported the proposal as they believed the smaller unit would be more viable, provided that the shopfront and basement would be retained. Also, even though no parking was proposed for the scheme, Oxfordshire County Council Highways had no objection due to the site’s sustainable town centre location and ease of access to key services and facilities.


The planning officer also noted that there were no changes proposed to the front of the property and external alterations were considered to be minor resulting in the conservation officer also having no objection.


Overall, as the site would retain valid commercial use whilst providing an acceptable one-bedroom accommodation, and as there were no objections from technical consultees, the planning officer recommended that the application be approved subject to conditions.



Gavin Jackson, the agent representing the applicant, spoke in support of the application. 



The committee asked about the planned arrangement for the collection of waste bins from the residential property and the planning officer informed members that the occupier could share the bin storage in the courtyard garden, but that there were legal questions for the landlord to answer about their access to that. However, if this was not possible, the officer confirmed that they would use the same method as the current two flats above the property for a fortnightly sack collection. The planning officer also informed the committee that the retail waste would continue to be collected as per their current arrangement and that they did not believe that waste collection would be a reason for refusing the applications.


Members inquired into the permitted development rights of the building and if there was potential for works if the applications were refused but the planning officer confirmed that there were restrictions on these rights that would apply due to the site being a listed building.


Finally, when asked about the gate at the rear of the property, the planning officer noted that the gate was the reason behind the local objections but that it had been there for four years and was beyond planning enforcement action.


Overall, members were happy that the application not only retained viable business space but that the scheme also provided an affordable housing development in a car free, sustainable location. Therefore, they agreed that the application should be approved, subject to conditions.


Motions, moved and seconded, to approve the planning application and the listed building consent application were carried on being put to the vote. 



RESOLVED: to approve planning application P23/S0268/FUL, subject to the following conditions:


1. Commencement of development within 3 years

2. Development to be carried out in accordance with the approved plans

3. Materials to be used as shown on the approved plans



RESOLVED: to approve listed building consent application P23/S0269/LB, subject to the following conditions:


1. Commencement of works within 3 years

2. Works to be carried out in accordance with the approved plans

3. Materials to be used as shown on the approved plans

Supporting documents: