4 Lime Walk Oxford OX3 7AE

30 January 2020

Variation of condition 2 (in accordance with approved plans) of planning permission 17/01480/FUL (allowed on appeal) to allow an increase in height, alterations to the fenestration and alterations to the detailing of the buildings.

The effect of this application appears to be to enlarge the building (which is already a tight fit on the site) in all three dimensions to improve acoustic performance. Why was such an important factor as acoustic performance not considered properly in the original design? Good design is one of the City Council’s fundamental planning criteria. To allow poor design under the guise of variations would be contrary to the policy. We support the County Council’s comments on cycle parking where the proposal seeks to vary condition 2 and includes an updated layout for the cycle parking. The tandem parking arrangement in the narrow alleyway is unacceptable. The space is too narrow to provide occupants with easy access to their bikes and will result in significant conflict between users as there is unlikely to be enough space to effectively walk a bike out of the alley. We recommend refusal of this application.  The applicant should produce a fundamentally revised design, incorporating smaller rooms, to allow the acoustic performance to be embodied in the original spatial envelope.