Care home, flats and a hotel are on the horizon

Plans to convert part of Chipping Norton Baptist Church were approved by councillors on Monday.
Plans to convert part of Chipping Norton Baptist Church were approved by councillors on Monday.

Three major developments were approved by West 
Oxfordshire District Council on Monday.

The council’s Uplands Area planning committee gave the green light to an 80-bed care home at Rockhill Farm on London Road, changes to plans for a new hotel complex at Tracey Farm in Great Tew and the conversion of part of Chipping Norton Baptist Church into flats.

The extra care development at Rockhill Farm will provide a total of 80 flats, likely to be a split of between 32 one-bedroom properties and 48 two-bedroom properties. It will also have 16 residential dwellings and associated landscaping, parking and access onto the site which lies next to the town’s hospital.

Town councillors had demanded the design be altered so the front elevation was lowered from three to one storey and more in keeping with surrounding properties.

Town Mayor Mike Tysoe said it was ‘nice to hear’ this had been approved although he expressed some concern the town has too much of this kind of housing, especially with forthcoming extra care housing plans at the former Penhurst School site.

The Grade II-listed baptist church – established in 1733 and located on New Street – has been the subject of a planning stalemate in recent years with the church involved in a legal wrangle with a previous developer which gained permission to convert it into four flats but did not undertake any building work.

Four flats will be located on the ground floor, in the oldest part of the building, with four duplex flats on the first and second floors in the newer parts of the church.

The church space will be fully renovated at the cost of the developer, with its capacity being reduced from the existing 500 to 100. Cllr Tysoe said the plan will help to save a building that is ‘falling to pieces’ but raised concerns about the lack of parking for the flats.

The Great Tew application involves changes to an approved scheme to convert existing farm buildings into a luxury hotel for the Soho House hotel group.