THE redevelopment of a former social club to make way for new flats has been approved, but on the condition that bus services and pedestrian access must be improved.

Winslade Investments made its third application in March 2019 to demolish the old Porcullis club buildings in Wallingford, despite two previous applications being thrown out.

The company is now set to build eight two-bedroom houses, three two-bedroom flats and three one-bedroom flats on the Goldsmiths Lane site, where the social club closed in 2016.

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Some of the buildings on the former brewery site now set to be demolished date back to the 1700s and, although they are not listed, they are in the town’s conservation area.

Planning permission was granted by South Oxfordshire District Council on October 28, 2020. However, Wallingford Town Council previously objected to the application.

The former Portcullis social club is set to be a 'car-free' development, and this has raised concerns.

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In October 2019, Wallingford Town Council objected to the application and suggested the developer submitted amended plans which had some parking space on site without having a detrimental effect to the historic heritage.

The town council's formal objection to the plan said: “On-street parking is a significant problem for residents, particularly for those within the town centre area.

“The narrow streets and a large proportion of houses built in times before significant car ownership cause considerable problems for residents and visitors.”

Now the district council has approved the plans, but with some strict new conditions.

The council firstly said it wanted to promote non-car modes of transport, such as public transport and cycling, and one of the conditions of the approval is that the developer should issue a ‘travel information pack’ to new residents.

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The development is also not allowed to start until the developer has given the council a scheme for the improvement of bus services along the A4074 corridor, and the council has approved that scheme in writing.

In its official decision statement on the application, the council explained that it wanted 'to help to increase the provision of bus services to Oxford, Henley and Reading, and enable residents to have access to a credible level of public transport and to provide a choice for travel options in accordance with Policy CSEM2 of the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy'.

The council's statement also said that safe pedestrian and cycle access from the development to St. Martins Street and Market Place was 'vital'.

Cycle parking facilities are on the list of conditions to be provided prior to the occupation of the development.

Finally, the council said that the existing footpath next to the site has a drainage problem which means pedestrians get splashed during periods of wet weather, which discourages people from walking there.

To address that problem, it ordered the developer to create a new segregated footpath between the former social club and the existing footway.