My Comments for 56 Hurst Rise Road

I just submitted my comments for the planning application at 56 Hurst Rise Rd. Here’s what I said:

I write as the local Vale of White horse council member for this area.

I’ve studied the plans and docs available. I note that the Tree Officer would like to see a current tree survey and some cross section drawings.

It’s actually quite difficult to picture the scale of what’s proposed, because there are no drawings showing the context of the proposed houses in the street scene, nor any drawing to show us how the proposed houses fit into the context of the site and with its neighbours. That seems a serious enough shortcoming.

Applicant claims the inspector approves of this plan for detached 4BR houses; how can that be? Could the officer please clarify this for residents and for me?

I also notice that tree reports (and other data?) come from old studies submitted with applications that were refused. I think there’s a reasonable chance that since the applications were refused on larger grounds, the fact there is no objection on these specific grounds named in the design statement are irrelevant and do not assume there would have been no objection had the applications been considered further. By that I mean, if the proposals are determined to be much too big and harmful to the character of the area, enough to warrant refusal, would detail of tree surveys be closely studied? Maybe so, but I don’t know. Surely a new application on a site different to the refused applications deserves properly current accompanying reports.

This is part of the lower density area of Cumnor Hill as defined in Vale’s Design Guide. In checking the Design Guide for lower density areas, there’s a useful checklist on page 142. Is there evidence that these issues have been considered in this proposal? I would have expected pre-application meetings to cover all these issues.

It does appear this development would be out of keeping with the local area. It’s a large semi-detached structure, built right up to the property boundaries, without garages or room to turn cars to be able to exit in a forward facing direction.

Does the parking scheme comply with section 4,3 of the design guide? It appears the four parking spaces, intended for 8 bedrooms plus visitors and delivery vehicles, hasn’t been well thought out. We expect that the front gardens are not parking dominated (see principle DG82).

Please can the officer address issues of density and how this proposal fits into that aspect of the character of the area.

Please can the officer clarify the private amenity space for each house. With 4 bedrooms, each house should have 100 sq m of private outdoor space.