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Retirement flats plan is approved
HIGHLY criticised plans to build 39 flats for the elderly in Old Marston have been approved.
Old Marston Parish Council had described the plan to demolish and rebuild the Bradlands sheltered accommodation site as a “monstrosity”.
But on Thursday evening, Oxford City Council approved its own application, which will see two- and three-storey accommodation built in Mill Lane.
James Lawrie, of Oxford Preservation Trust, said the site was unsuitable for such a large development.
He said: “It is a very long walk to a bus to take residents either into Oxford or up to pharmacies and to doctors’ surgeries. I believe old people want to be within the community, not exiled to the outer edge.
“I think it would be much more satisfactory if this site is redeveloped for much-needed domestic housing, which surrounds the property on three sides, and money raised by selling the site could be used to finance an old persons sheltered accommodation nearer to the centre of the community.”
City councillors also raised concerns about the size of the development and the low number of car parking spaces at the site – 14.
Councillor Mary Clarkson said: “I am quite torn on this one because I think a lot of thought has gone into how the accommodation will serve elderly residents.
“But it is very much an edge-of-village setting and I think it is too high and obtrusive compared to the domestic architecture.
“I also have some concerns with the car parking because a lot of elderly have a number of visitors during the day.”
Chief planning officer Murray Hancock said the development had a better relationship to neighbouring properties than the current buildings. He said most occupants would not be car users, so there was adequate parking.
Councillors agreed to grant permission but added a condition to review the parking provision as the development went forward.