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Old social club is set to become three flats
A DISUSED former social club in South Oxford could be turned into flats if planners’ advice is followed.
Officers at Oxford City Council have recommended that plans to turn the South Oxford Social Club in Gordon Street, off Lake Street, into flats are approved.
Terence Butler wants to create two one-bed flats and one two-bed flat on the site.
A report to councillors, who will meet this month to decide on the application, backs the plan. But several members have raised objections over the design because of parking problems in the narrow street.
The officers’ report said: “The properties are acknowledged to be modest but they make good use of an existing building in an existing high-density residential area.”
Neighbour Marie-Claire Brayham backed the application saying: “The building has been a thorn in my side for the past 12 years, firstly as a poorly located and much-abused social club and currently as an unoccupied building for almost two years.”
In a letter to the council, planning agent Sam Shelton said: “The committee of the social club ceased to function in August 2012 and the applicant, who lives in the adjoining property at No. 8 Gordon Street, has purchased the property from the now-defunct social club committee.
“The proposed use is considerably more neighbourly to the occupants of Gordon Street and the surrounding area and should be considered to enhance the amenity of the area.”
The application will be considered by the council’s west area planning committee on Wednesday, January 16, after it was “called in” by several councillors.
Council leader and Hinksey Park councillor Bob Price, who was one of those who called the plans in, said: “The problem is the site is very constrained, and the real impact on the area is going to be with car parking.
“The easy way around that would be to have a ban on cars, essentially a car-free development, but you can only have that if you have a residents’ parking scheme in the area.
“What we’re looking for is a design which absorbs the parking within the development and doesn’t impact on the street, and at the moment, that’s not in the plans.”
Originally a Victorian chapel of worship, it became the South Oxford Civil Defence Club in 1940 and closed in 2010 through lack of members.