137 Divinity Road Oxford OX4 1LW

12 June 2020

Demolition of existing side extension and conservatory. Erection of a 1 x 2 bed dwellinghouse. Insertion of 1no window north elevation. Insertion 2no. windows south elevation. Provision of private amenity space and car parking.

Whilst Oxford Civic Society (OCS) consider that this application may be viewed more favourably than the previously withdrawn proposal to develop the existing property as a large HMO, in an area with a high density of HMO provision often in situations where refuse and parking issues have become critical to maintaining a reasonably diverse suburban community environment, in an area of high traffic movement which nevertheless continues to be a significant neighbourhood for families. Be that as it may, one of the drawings (No 121) carries the job title :  “Proposed Extension and HMO Conversion” making it likely – together with the level of provision of parking and bathrooms – that this is considered as a first step to a later formal application for HMO accommodation within the proposed building envelope. However, the current proposal also suffers from a similar lack of completeness of presentation regarding intentions and important issues arising – in this case the critical issue of how parking and associated cycle and refuse provision will be dealt with for the larger (in bed-space terms) of the two proposed houses. The ‘Design and Access Statement’ is also silent on how the new parking will be practically completed and accessed. The application suffers from significant failings in terms of the presentation of both the existing and proposed elevations, including: a meaningless North point on both elevational drawings; a misrepresented existing and proposed South East Elevation – when in both cases, it is the North West elevations that are described – which means that the critical proposed South East elevations which would face the proposed car-parking area is not shown in relation to this. OCS consider that the critical feature of these proposals will be the safety of 3 car parking spaces directly located on the junction of Divinity and Stone Streets. Over the (normal) extended ‘school run’ times and ‘journey to work’ times both Stone Street and Divinity Road are significantly heavily trafficked – with turns from both directions off Divinity on to Stone Street being almost ‘blind’. OCS strongly suggest that the proposal as it stands be rejected. We believe that a  re-application would need to clarify the proposals in terms of the failings with regard to the elevations as presented, and  provide sufficient detail for the parking area – and particularly ingress and egress – to enable all interested parties to evaluate them properly; the issue of the project being described on a ‘proposed’ drawing  as part of a plan for an HMO also requires unequivocal clarification.