31 Randolph Street Oxford OX4 1XZ

19 January 2018

Erection of a two storey building to provide 1 x 1-bed dwelling (Use Class C3). Provision of private amenity space, bin and cycle store.

Careful consideration should be given to the precedent which would be set by consent to this proposed development, since there is no other development such as this, to the rear gardens of properties in this area of Randolph Street. If this precedent were to be followed, there would be significant alteration to the character of Leon Close.

The proposal indicates that there would be a minimal front terrace of about 1200mm behind the footpath to Leon Close, and this would be dominated by bin storage, details of which are not included. Cycle storage is indicated, again without details, in the rear garden, accessible only by negotiation of the front door, living room, kitchen and dining room, and French doors to the very small rear garden; this is completely impracticable, but re-location to the front area, and provision of secure, accessible and covered storage would, with the bin storage, be equally impracticable, owing to the restricted space available.

The internal footprint of the proposed dwelling is 22m2, but the staircase and first-floor stairwell occupy 3.3m2, leaving a net usable floor area of just 18.7 m2 on each floor. As a consequence, the kitchen area appears too constricted to accommodate reasonable food and equipment storage, or a refrigerator. Similarly, on the first floor, the bedroom is of inadequate size to reasonably accommodate furniture for storage.

Externally, the architecture comprises a rectangular ‘tower’, higher than any plan dimension and with no attempt at design quality. No car parking provision is indicated, and parking is already a serious problem in this area, in which a CPZ is in operation; if consent is considered, it should be subject to exclusion of the property from the provisions of the CPZ for residents’ parking. The private amenity space indicated is minimal in size, no ‘landscaping’ is shown and it would be virtually unusable for any amenity purposes.

The rear windows to the first floor would compromise the privacy of properties in Randolph Street, and the development would preclude any access to the garden of the existing property at 31 Randolph Street, except through the living quarters of that property. Since 31 Randolph Street is part of a terrace with a front door opening directly onto the footway, obstruction of rear access to the garden would eliminate any possibility of provision of acceptable cycle parking or bin storage for that property, whose garden would, additionally, be seriously diminished by the proposed development.

This proposal is unacceptable for the multiple reasons outline above, and should be refused.