A REPAIR garage will be turned into 25 new homes and apartments after councillors answered residents' calls to give plans the green light.

The application for Olivers Garage in Long Hanborough, near Witney, was provisionally approved at a meeting at West Oxfordshire District Council on Monday.

A previous application for the site was refused back in 2017 due to the lack of affordable housing provision, with four apartments designated affordable under the new plans.

Several residents attended the meeting to hear the verdict, while Hanborough Parish Council offered its support to a 'good-quality housing development in this prominent, village-centre location'.

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Merilyn Davies, district councillor for Freeland and Hanborough, said: "I'm so thrilled this has come back to councillors.

"Everyone I know in Long Hanborough wants this to go ahead and were so frustrated when it didn't [originally] get through."

The development in Main Road is made up of 21 two-storey homes, plus the four flats.

The site currently comprises a former petrol filling station, three car repair buildings, three detached bungalows and domestic garages, all of which will be demolished.

An inspector for the previous appeal recommended up to seven homes could be affordable, but officers accepted four.

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Julian Cooper, councillor for Woodstock and Bladon, was the one member of the uplands planning sub-committee to vote against the plans, citing the affordable housing provision as the reason.

He said: "16 per cent affordable housing isn't good enough for me. It's nowhere near the 50 per cent we should be aiming for."

The one-bed apartments were designated affordable due to homeseekers' 'demand for smaller units', according to the council.

Councillors also approved plans for seven one-bed flats at 39 Witney Road, Long Hanborough, at Monday's meeting.

The plans, which would see an existing building converted into three flats and four new apartments constructed, attracted concerns over the amount of parking, with just eight spaces overall.

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The parish council was unconvinced about the demand for homes, adding that neighbours' concerns included 'having several vehicles emerging from an entrance-cum-exit close to an increasingly busy new junction that serves the adjacent Hanborough Gate development'.

But Oxfordshire County Council, the highways authority, said the development would not have 'significant detrimental impact' on the road network.

The council also criticised the 'meagre' amenity space, but several letters of support welcomed the promise of smaller homes.

Richard Bishop, councillor for Stonesfield and Tackley, said: "It will help people get on the housing ladder."