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Stables homes plans ‘to damage park character’
HEADINGTON residents fear the character of Bury Knowle Park could “change substantially” after plans were submitted to convert 19th century stables into two houses.
The former stables are part of Bury Knowle House, which was built in 1800, and are currently being used by the council for storage.
But the North Place properties, which are being sold by the city council for £450,000, could now be turned into two houses.
If the plans are approved, it will be for one two-bedroom house and a four-bedroom house with space for car parking.
The application has been submitted by Craig Haller and David Corley, who live in Mill Street, Witney.
Residents fear this could affect the character of the park and bring unwanted traffic to the area.
Conservationists have expressed their concerns after Oxford City Council on September 4 approved plans to convert sheds at the Bury Knowle Park depot site into 10 homes, in a controversial “car-free” development.
Rosemary Belton, of the Friends of Bury Knowle Park, said: “The developments are affecting the park and changing the character of those buildings substantially.
“It’s starting to creep into the park and so I am very concerned. I think it’s a great shame.”
Ms Belton, of Latimer Road, added: “It’s disappointing that the city council does not notify us on things that are very important to the park.
“The council doesn’t want us to rock the boat, but it would be nice if it consulted us more formally.”
Mrs Belton, of Latimer Road, Headington, added: “It would have been nice if the Bury Knowle stables had been converted into a community area instead of being turned into houses.”
Sandfield Road resident Bob Clarke said he was concerned about the extra traffic the developments could generate.
He said: “Headington is already overcrowded.
“You only have to walk from Gipsy Lane to the Green Road roundabout to see traffic jams time and time again. We don’t need any more traffic.”
“It should not go ahead. It’s crazy. The character of the park is being diminished.”
County councillor for Headington and Quarry Roz Smith said she would have liked to see the stables used as a community area.
She said: “Headington is short of community meeting rooms and it would have been an ideal place to have some.”
Executive board member for city development Colin Cook denied that the city council had not properly consulted residents over the stables plan.
He said: “Residents can respond to the application online.
“ I find it strange that people are saying they were not consulted when they have an opportunity to respond.
“The planning officers will look at any comments they wish to submit and take them into account.
“Also if residents want to sign up to the planning finder website, I would encourage them to do that.
“This lets them know about applications close to their postcode.”
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