Whilst the Society’s scrutiny is normally focussed on Banbury’s historic core, it also keeps track of developments in the town’s suburbs. One application we are currently objecting to is the proposed demolition of 34 Springfield Avenue and its replacement with five two-bedroom flats.
The building is situated on a key corner site and served as a newsagent’s shop until recently. The existing building and its counterpart shop on the opposite side of the Ruskin Road were built as integral elements of a model ‘homes for heroes’ housing estate, developed from 1919 on the ‘garden suburb’ philosophy. The existing building is fondly viewed by the local community as a local landmark and as a cherished element of the local street scene. It could be sensitively reused, subject if necessary to limited extension.
The proposed replacement building is felt to be a poor design that takes inadequate opportunity of its landmark site. Five flats is argued to be overdevelopment of the site, not least because the new building would entirely conceal St Hugh’s church, which is currently prominent in views down Horton View. The application is recommended for approval by CDC planners, but faces considerable opposition from the elected members, most notably Cllr Kieron Mallon. The application will be determined following a site visit by the CDC Planning Committee on Thursday 29th January.