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Social club hall could become three houses
5:40pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
RESIDENTS have mixed views on plans to knock down a social club hall in Osney Island to build homes.
A meeting of residents is to be held within the next week with Susanna Pressel, Labour city councillor for Jericho and Osney, to discuss the plans.
Leaflets are due to be sent out to residents when a date for the meeting has been fixed, inviting them to share their views.
The West Oxford Democrats Club in East Street has applied to Oxford City Council for planning permission to replace the hall with three homes to help the club stay afloat. Plans for one two-bedroomed and two three-bedroomed homes include parking and workshop space underneath.
Some of the existing car parking would be turned into gardens.
Club bosses say the hall – built as an extension to the original club last century – is redundant and could fall into disrepair.
Public comments sent to the council both support and oppose the plans.
East Street resident Beverley Lear said the homes would be an overdevelopment.
She said: “The loss of the Democrats Club would be extremely regrettable. However the overwhelming majority of members do not live in the immediate area and thus the club has a high demand for parking.
“Residents in East Street and North Street already compete for parking places on busy evenings.”
She also said the designs were not in keeping with neighbouring buildings.
But Earl Street resident Andrew Webber said: “Removing the hall and replacing it with three sympathetic houses will blend in with the character of the existing houses on Osney Island will enhance the area.”
Councillor Pressel commented: “It's important to preserve these social clubs, now that there are very few of them left.
“The club takes part in leagues for pool, Aunt Sally, bar billiards and darts, as well as having bingo and social events. This provides a lot of fun for a lot of people.
“Oxford needs thousands of new homes, so most of us would be happy to see some houses on this site.
“There are worries about parking and the design, but I hope these concerns can be addressed to everyone's satisfaction.”
The public have until October 31 to comment to the city council about the plans.
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