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Planning Considerations & Applications for Shiplake

All planning matters affecting Shiplake Parish and its residents, encompassing strategic considerations through to individual planning applications, will be referenced in this section.

Note that the latest monthly/bi-monthly planning reports will be published in this section. Prior reports are available via the minutes of the council meetings published in the Agendas and Minutes section of the website.  For access to any specific planning application, please use the planning application reference number provided and link to SODC's planning applications register via:


To register with SODC to receive alerts and updates on new planning applications for your postcode click on this link:


Contacts for the Shiplake Parish Council's Planning Working Group are provided under 'Councillors'.

SODC Loses Thames Farm Decision - Development Approved


The Court of Appeal has refused SODC's request to appeal the decision of the High Court, which supported the decision of the Inquiry Inspector to grant permission for the development at Thames FarmClick here to see the refusal document.

Basically, SODC could not sufficiently well challenge the position cited by the applicant and developer, which the Inspector concurred with i.e. that there is '.... a chronic and dire shortage of housing land' within the district. This was based on estimated housing numbers at the time of the Thames Farm Inquiry. 

SODC's position is that it did then and certainly does now have a significantly improved housing land situation. This is important - we cannot change the past but we can make sure we are most able to ensure the desired future of Shiplake with the successful completion of the Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan: minimising development on green field sites; reducing the risk of urbanisation; providing housing for younger familes and opportunities for downsizing to ensure the vibrancy of the villages; providing our share (min. of 33 new houses) to meet SODC's  requirements; and defending the villages against further speculative large scale developments. There is no other way!

Updates on the plan will follow shortly on the status of the plan. Your support is key to ensuring the news on the housing front is far better than the headline of this article.

David Pheasant - Shiplake PC and NP Steering Group. 

Article created / last edited: 28 February 2018

New Building, New Name for Sydney Harrison!


The old building now gone and a new one along with 4 semi detached houses is being built this year. SODC and the developers feel they should have a new name...the main building and the individual houses. The parish council would like residents to provide suggestions. 

Simply let us have your suggestions by clicking here using the village website: feedback@shiplakevillages .com

All suggestions to be received by Sunday March 4th. Parish council to announce  decision by next council meeting on 12th March.

We look forward to hearing from you and, for those that miss using the community room in the old building, a new one is promised when the building are completed.  

Article created / last edited: 21 February 2018



The February 2018 Planning Report is available by clicking here: Planning Report February 2018More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

NOTE: Some applications referenced as TBD were agreed at the Planning Working Group Meeting, held immediately prior to the February parish council meeting, and will be recorded in the February parish council meeting minutes. These will be approved at the March parish council meeting and subsequently published on the website.

Please also note the December 2017 Planning Report was not published on the website but is included in the parish council minutes subsequently published on the website. 

Article created / last edited: 14 February 2018

Reminder & Update: Overnight Closure of Level Crosssing


The level crossing will be removed for inspection/maintenance and replaced on early Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th January mornings between midnight and 05:00am. The crossing will be closed during these periods with a traffic management system in place for emergency vehicles. For all other vehicles use either Bolney Lane or leave vehicle overnight in the station car park.

Lease note that 4 parking bays in the car park will 'cordoned off' for storage of equipment over the 2 days. 

Article created / last edited: 5 January 2018

Overnight Closure of Level Crossing & December 2017 Planning Report


PLEASE NOTE:The level crossing will be removed for inspection/maintenance and replaced on Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th January between midnight and 05:00am. The crossing will be closed during these periods with a traffic management system in place.

The December 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking here: Planning Report December 2017. More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 31 December 2017

Shiplake Road Surfaces & Warning Lights


The work on the roads of Shiplake in 2018, mentioned in Shiplake News, will not be a 'full resurfacing' but a 'top dressing'. One has to assume holes will be fiiled in. We also await confirmation that the work encompasses the whole of Shiplake, not just Lower Shiplake. 

In Shiplake Cross there are concerns regarding the condition of Memorial Avenue and Plough Lane. The parish council has raised the matter with OCC but strongly recommend residents report the incidences of pot holes and serious road surface damage to OCC via the link on our website homepage, which ensures OCC investigate the incidents and respond accordingly:


The parish council is also endeavouring to get the  speed warning light, on Plough Lane approaching the school from Binfield Heath, either repaired or replaced. An update will be provided soon.  

Article created / last edited: 14 December 2017



The November 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking here: Planning Report November 2017. More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 21 November 2017

Wyvale Housing Proposals


Many residents have received promotional literature regarding the proposed Wyvale development. Shiplake Parish Council's view remains unaltered in that the site be retained for commercial purposes, as specified in the Joint Henley and Harpsden Plan. As with Thames Farm, our objections are also strongly based based both on highway safety grounds and because, as a substantial residential development outside the village boundary, such development is not sustainable. This is particularly relevant in the context of the current position regarding Thames Farm. Wyvale's owners state the site is not viable commercially, which is highly questionable.

Shiplake's Neighbourhood Plan proposals are well advanced, were received very favourably by residents during last week's exhibition, and are targeted at providing lower cost homes for young familes and those downsizing in sustainable safe locations within Shiplake. 

Article created / last edited: 9 November 2017

Thames Farm Judicial Review Update


The parish council, supported by residents, has been consistent in opposing the development of housing on the Thames Farm site. Our objections have been based both on highway safety grounds and because - as a substantial residential development outside the village boundary - such development is not sustainable.  

SODC has always rejected Thames Farm's applications for residential development, and this has been confirmed on appeal by the planning inspectorate. Earlier this year, however, a planning inspector overturned SODC's refusal to grant planning permission, in this case for 95 houses. 

Our legal advisors - including a leading planning QC - believe we have strong grounds for arguing that the inspector was wrong. Shiplake and SODC continue to fight the decision and we are both seeking leave to appeal against it in the High Court. Our applications were initially rejected, which is not unusual, but both we and SODC have the right to seek leave at an oral hearing, which will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on 28th November. 

We will keep you updated on progress in this matter and thank you for your support in ensuring the right outcome prevails. 

Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 9 November 2017

A4155 Closure now until11th November...go for a drink at The Plowden


Additional work, for long term benefit, has been scheduled resulting in the completion being extended to 11th November.

Many businesses have been impacted by the closure...why not support a very local one and go for drinks, perhaps a bite to eat, at The Plowden. On your way to or from visiting the OPEN EXHIBITION this weekend?

Article created / last edited: 3 November 2017

Retirement Village Refused...We need a Neighbourhood Plan


A retirement village is clearly not what Shiplake needs and the SODC decision is welcomed; what we need is more housing choice for young families and those 'downsizing'. Rather than spend time objecting to inappropriate, profit oriented developer driven planning applications, why not support the parish council and NP Steeering Group in proposing housing that meets local needs and aspirations. We NEED a neighbourhood Plan to do this.

The next 2 days give you that opportunity...take it to ensure we have the right plan. We look forward to seeing you in the next two days to answer any questions you might have on the plans being proposed. Your views are IMPORTANT:

Neighbourhood Plan Open Exhibition at Memorial Hall on FRIDAY 3rd (2:30pm to 10pm) and SATURDAY 4th (9:00am to 6pm)....see website home page.

NP Steering Group & Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 2 November 2017



The October 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking here: Planning Report October 2017. More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 13 October 2017



The July 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking here: Planning Report September 2017. More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 27 September 2017

Shiplake Council Lodges Claim for Statutory Review


Thames Farm Update 

Whilst awaiting SODC's decision to move to a judicial review and with the limited time available, Shiplake Parish Council sought legal advice and Counsel opinion as to what action, if any, it should take. Click here for  more information on its decision to lodge a claim for a Statutory Planning Review in the High Court.

Tudor Taylor – Chairman, Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 12 September 2017

SODC to Appeal Thames Farm Decision


Responding to the 600 people who signed the petition objecting to the outcome of the recent Inquiry, John Cotton, SODC's Council Leader  has updated everyone as follows:

'I promised to keep you informed of the council's position regarding the planning appeal decision on the Thames Farm site. On the basis of legal errors in that decision, we have begun court proceedings to quash it. Limited information on the nature of those errors will be available early next week, once we have served papers on the appellants and the treasury solicitor. After that, we will not be commenting further whilst the matter takes its legal course.

Many thanks for all your support!'

The parish council thanks all those (600), who signed Ricard Verrall's petition supporting the council's view that the site is unsustainable in many respects, along with the many other emails of support from residents sent directly to SODC.

We will keep you updated as matters progress ..... as will the NP Steering Group as it formulates its proposals for building required housing in a sustainable manner.

Shiplake Parish Council PWG

Article created / last edited: 1 September 2017

Support Eye & Dunsden's fight against 245 houses


Shiplake is not alone in its challenges fighting speculative developers. Our near neighbour parishes of Eye and Dunsden (E&Y), Binfield Heath and Kidmore End, joined by Sonning Common and Emmer Green residents, are fighting an application by Gladman to build 245 houses in E&Y, which falls within the catchment area for Shiplake Primary School. In spite of very strong legitimate objections, SODC's Planning Officer is recommending Planning Committee members accept Gladman's outline application for 245 houses.

The campaign group (CAGE) is determined to fight this damaging application and is asking as many people as possible to turn out to show their opposition at the planning committee meeting at 6pm on Wednesday June 6 in Didcot. The local press are expecting a big turn-out. Bring banners, T-shirts and be prepared to make your presence felt! ​Does this all sound a bit familiar.

Recent SODC applications have shown that people power really does work – committee members can be convinced to go against the recommendations of their Planning Officers. Will you be part of it?

To make the journey to Didcot easy, details are soon to be announced of the coaches which will run from Emmer Green and Sonning Common to the meeting at Didcot Civic Hall, Britwell Road, Didcot, OX11 7JN. 

You can learn more about this application and other threats from developers on the Eye & Dunsden website : www.cagedunsden.org You can sign their petition too.

For an insight into how land owners and developers take advantage of local authorites with planning deficiences, c/o Sunday Telegraph, click on the link below:

’The modern-day land barons; inside the murky underbelly of land promotion’.


Quote Gladman:“We normally only target local authorities whose planning is in relative disarray and … either have no up-to-date local plan or, temporarily, they do not have a five-year supply of consented building plots.” 

Article created / last edited: 3 September 2017

Thames Farm – The Flawed Decision


Along with other local councils, Shiplake Parish Council is making the case to have the Thames Farm decision reviewed. Reasons why have been provided via the website mailing system, not least the assessment that the A4155 is safe for pedestrians to cross; the photos of the accident on 15/8 on the home page, at the proposed crossing point, clearly demonstrate the ever present dangers.

If you have not responded to the email yet and feel the decision should be reviewed, we would appreciate residents doing so and if you have not signed the electronic petition please do. Approaching 600 residents have already.

SODC will make their decision very soon - make your views clear by clicking below:



Article created / last edited: 21 August 2017



The July 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking here: July 2017 Planning Report.  More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 10 August 2017

Petition for an Appeal/Review of Thames Farm Decision


Following the Planning Inspector's decision to approve the construction of 95 houses on Thames Farm, local residents have established a petition to ask SODC to appeal the decision. If you wish to do so you can add your name to the petition by clicking on the link below.


The parish council willl be circulating its own views on the outcome of the Inquiry in the next few days. On behalf of residents, the parish council's position in opposing the proposed development has always been made  clear for well articulated valid planning reasons. 

Article created / last edited: 9 August 2017

Thames Farm Development Approved!


The appeal is allowed and outline planning permission is granted for up to 95 dwellings and associated public open space and landscaping at Thames Farm (Planning application Ref P16/S0970/O).

Clearly this decision is extremely disappointing and of serious concern. The parish council will comment on the decison after considering the Inspector's reasons for granting outline planning permission. No doubt there will be considerable comment on the decision in this week's issue of the Henley Standard. Click here to read the Inspector's report.

A key reason given for approving the application was SODC's failure to have a 3 year housing land supply, albeit its stated position is one of having c. 4 years supply???

Further comment to follow. In the meantime, it may well be a good idea to alleviate the disappointment of this decision by spending a couple of days at the Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta, starting tomorrow Friday 4th August....


Article created / last edited: 3 August 2017

Thames Farm Inquiry: Closing Statements & Decision Date


The closing statements are now  available on the SODC website-in the Appeal sub-section of P16/S0970/O. Click here for a quick link to the Appellant Statement and here for the SODC Statement. The link below will also take you to the relavent section for the SODC website for more information if required.


The date for issue of the decision is anticipated in August.

Article created / last edited: 24 June 2017

Thames farm Inquiry Update 3


The Thames Farm Appeal Inquiry at Nettlebed Village Club Hall RG9 5DD.

Thanks to all those attending the Inquiry. Today featured presentations from Tudor Taylor and Kestor George, Chairmen of Shiplake and Harpsden parish councils, underlining the fundamental unsustainability of the Thames Farm site. Representatives of Henley Town Council also strongly supported the integrity of the Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan in meeting Henley's housing needs, without the Thames Farm site which had been rejected.

Tomorrow's (Friday's)  proceedings will start at 9:30am. Peter Boros, Chairman of the Shiplake Neigbourhood Plan initiative is scheduled to speak against the application followed by closing summations from the counsels of the applicant and SODC.

It is not possible to be more specific about the agenda at this stage other than it is likely to conclude by the end of the morning. A brief summary of the inquiry will be provided in the June issue of Shiplake News.

There is parking at the village hall and across road near the cafe and school. You can enter and leave the village hall at anytime during the proceedings and YOUR SUPPORT is important and always appreciated.

Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 15 June 2017

Thames farm Inquiry Update 2


The Thames Farm Appeal Inquiry at Nettlebed Village Club Hall RG9 5DD.

Thanks to all those attending the Inquiry. Today featured discussions on SODC's reasons for rejecting the application, along with more discussions on highway safety matters. David Bartholomew (our OCC Councillor) also presented his reasons for objecting to the application.

Tomorrow's (Thursday's)  proceedings will start at 9:30am. Tudor Taylor (Shiplake PC) and Kester George (Harpsden PC) are scheduled to speak objecting to the application. Henley Town Council and Peter Boros (Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group) are also scheduled to speak against the application tomorrow or Friday. There will also be concluding summations by the applicant and SODC.

It is not possible to be more specific about the agenda at this stage but should there be more information, we will provide an update in as timely a manner as possible.

There is parking at the village hall and across road near the cafe and school. You can enter and leave the village hall at anytime during the proceedings and YOUR SUPPORT is important and always appreciated.

Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 14 June 2017

Thames farm Inquiry Update


The Thames Farm Appeal Inquiry started at 10am today (13th June) for 4 days in Nettlebed Village Club Hall RG9 5DD.

Thanks to all those who attended the meeting today, which featured opening statements and further submissions on behalf of the applicant and SODC, focused primarily on  highway safety and sustainability issues, followed by housing numbers in the district.

Proceedings will start at 9:30am for the next 3 days. David Bartholomew (OCC Councillor) is scheduled to speak against the application on Wednesday with Henley, Shiplake and Harpsden Councils likely to present their cases objecting to the development on Thursday or Friday. It is not possible to be specific about the agenda at this stage but should there be more specific information, we will provided an update in as timely a manner as possible.

There is parking at the village hall and across road near the cafe and school. You can enter and leave the village hall at anytime during the proceedings and YOUR SUPPORT is important and always appreciated.

Shiplake Parish Council 

Article created / last edited: 13 June 2017

Reading Road Retirement Village Application- Update


OCC Highways response objecting to the revised application P16/S3438/O for Outline application for the development of land to the East of Reading Road for a residential care home facility (up to 40 beds), together with an extra care development (up to 66 units comprising of apartments and cottages), can be viewed by clicking here

Article created / last edited: 12 June 2017



The May/June 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking on the May/June 2017 Planning Report.  More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 9 June 2017

Thames Farm Inquiry - Starts 13th June at 10am


The Thames Farm Appeal Inquiry starts at 10am on Tuesday 13th June for 4 days in Nettlebed Village Club Hall RG9 5DD...click here to get more details on the Inquiry and how you can support the local councils and SODC in having this application rejected. An update on the related Thames Farm Barn application is also provided. 


Article created / last edited: 5 June 2017

Shiplake X gets its pub back...Plowden re-opens!


Karen and David  will be hosting a 'Grand Opening' on Friday this week (26th May) starting at 7pm and  finishing late. Join them for a glass of bubbly and nibbles, check out their menus and  range of local beers..... a very good start to the weekend. 

Article created / last edited: 22 May 2017

Thames Farm Planning Applications & Inquiry ++


The outcome of the Thames Farm Barn application at yesterday's SODC Planning Committee Meeting was: 'No Decision pending the outcome of a Site Visit'. Many thanks to all residents who attended the meeting.

The next dates for your diary are the APM next week on Wednesday 24th May at the Memorial Hall, starting at 19:45....The Neighbourhood Plan with Q&A will be a key feature.

The Thames Farm Appeal Inquiry is confirmed for w/c 12th June for 3 days in Nettlebed...more details to follow and, again, your support is important and appreciated.

The Neighbourhood Plan Questionnaire will be distributed wb 22nd May..please make sure you do not miss the opportunity to Shape the Future of Shiplake. 

Article created / last edited: 18 May 2017



The April 2017 Planning Report is available by clicking on the April 2017 Planning Report More details of an application can be accessed via the SODC website link provided in the planning section of this website.

Details of prior planning reports can be found in the relevant month's approved council meeting minutes published on this website.

Article created / last edited: 16 May 2017

Thames Farm Barn P16/S4292/FUL - Your Support is Needed


The application to convert the barn at Thames Farm into four residential units will be considered by SODC’s planning committee on Wednesday 17thMay 2017. The SODC planning officer’s recommendation is to GRANT planning permission.
  • Kester George, Chairman of Harpsden Parish Council, will be speaking at the meeting AGAINST the application.
  • Gregg Davies, Shiplake Parish Council, will be speaking AGAINST the application.
  • Henley Town Council has requested the application be REFUSED
We would be very grateful for any support you can give by attending this meeting on 17th May 2017 at 6pm at Didcot Civic Hall, Britwell Road, Didcot OX11 7JN. Whilst we understand we are asking a lot at short notice*, your support helps in stopping such unsustainable developments, not least where there are safety issues for people and particularly children along the A4155. The application is not in accordance with planning policies H4,H11, H12 and T1 of SODC's Local Plan.
There are fundamental reasons why the related application for 95 houses on Thames Farm should be rejected, the inquiry for which takes place in June, and we will provide an update for shortly. The majority of the same reasons apply to this Thames Barn application, which should not be allowed to create any kind of precedence.
The Planning Inspector’s report can be seen here:http://democratic.southoxon.gov.uk/documents/s11667/Report.pdf
* Unfortunately, in many of these cases, the notice period provided by SODC for applications to be considered by the planning committee is very short.

Article created / last edited: 16 May 2017

New Road Application Rejected & Thames Farm ++


Good News: The application for four houses was rejected by SODC's Planning Committee...click here for more information.

On the Thames Farm front, we have been advised that the public inquiry for both applications will be held w/c 12th June, venue and final details to be confirmed.

Defeating these speculative planning applications involves a lot of effort and importantly the strong support of residents. It also emphasises the need for the Shiplake Neighbourhood Plan....you will be hearing  a lot more about this shortly. 


Article created / last edited: 30 March 2017

Thames Farm Inquiry


In the event that you may, in clicking on the attachment in the earlier update referencing the parish council's request for a public inquiry into both planning applications, missed the important update from SODC, please take note:

We are pleased  to have now been advised by SODC that it has been decided by the Planning Inspectorate to hold a single public inquiry to determine both applications later this year. Date tbc.


Article created / last edited: 1 March 2017

Public Inquiry for Thames Farm Appeals


The developers have sought to have the renewed appeal on the first application for 110 houses determined separately by written representations,  with a proposal for approval and any issues resolved by planning conditions (APP/Q3115/A/14/2217931).

They have also appealed against against the recent refusal of the second application for 95 houses (APP/Q3115/W/16/3161733).

At very short notice, the parish council was invited to respond with its views to the Planning Inspectorate. Click here to view its submission requesting a public inquiry, preferably embracing both applications. We would submit representations in support of SODC's rejection of the application.

We are pleased  to have now been advised by SODC that it has been decided by the Planning Inspectorate to hold a single public inquiry to determine both applications later this year. Date tbc.




Article created / last edited: 1 March 2017

Bolney Lane Closures in April & June


Please note that this road closure will now start on 4 April for 1 day and then a further two closures will take place on 5 June for 5 days and 12 June for 5 days.

Temporary Traffic Regulation Order – S14 Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 - Temporary Road Closure – at Lower Shiplake, Bolney Lane 

A request has been received from Dyer and Butler for a temporary road closure to apply to a section of Bolney Lane, whilst essential embankment works are carried out.

 A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) was made to implement the temporary closure and operating from 27 February to 10 March 2017 (07:00 – 16:00 daily). 

These things can change, as illustrated above, and a Notice of intention to make the Order will be published in the local press. A copy of the drawing showing the extent of the closure and also the alternative route for traffic can be seen by clicking here. 

Further information regarding the works may be obtained by contacting Dyer and Butler on 02380742222.

Article created / last edited: 27 February 2017

Planning Updates: Thames Farm Appeal & New Road


SODC have confirmed that all materials presented for the recent Thames Farm (95 houses) application, including representations from residents, will be forwarded to the Govt. Inspectorate for the appeal. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS.

Requests have also been made for an update on the revised application for 4 houses in New Road (P16/S3778/O). This application will be discussed with the recommendations of the Planning Working Group, along with those on other planning applications, at the Shiplake Parish Council Meeting on Monday 13th Feb. Having reviewed the revisions it is felt that they are insufficent to alter the previous recommendation for Refusal.

Please note that all planning applications can be accessed by using Shiplakevillages.com link to the SODC Planning website. Click here www.southoxon.gov.uk/services-and-advice/planning-and-building/find-application and enter the application number in order review and respond to an application.

Shiplake Planning Working Group (PWG)

Article created / last edited: 1 February 2017

Latest Thames Farm Appeal


Shiplake's Planning Working Group is reviewing the application this week whilst seeking to clarify the nature of the responses required by the Inspectorate. We will advise residents shortly on whatever actions they need to take. 

(Please note that application for the Barn conversion P16/S4292/FUL on the connected site is a separate consideration and we recommend you respond as referenced in the prior article.)

Article created / last edited: 30 January 2017

Thames Farm Barn Planning Application - P16/S4292/FUL


Shiplake Parish Council is recommending the application be refused for several reasons, not least that it 'is unsustainable given the lack of of safe and convenient pedestrian accessibility to and from local amenities.' Click here to view all the reasons why the application should be rejected and respond how you feel appropriate using the link below: 


Or click on the Shiplake website link below and  enter P16/S4292/FUL in the search box.


Responses need to be receieved by SODC by 6th February...please do not delay.

Article created / last edited: 30 January 2017

Thames Farm Appeal & Application for Development of Barns


We, along with residents, have received notification of an appeal for the site and separately a planning application for converting the barn into 4 residential units. The barn is on the separate area of land, adjacent to Bolney Lane bridle path, at the corner of the plot.

The Parish Planning Working Group (PWG) will be meeting this week to consider the barn application and, separately, the appeal notication at the beginning of next week. We will advise residents of our recommendations immediately after the meeting.

Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 25 January 2017

Register for Planning Application Updates for your Postcode


Residents have requested more frequent updates on planning applications within the villages. The parish council will endeavour to provide such updates, particularly for significant applications e.g. Thames Farm, retirement village etc. Given the process by which we receive the information from SODC, however, there are difficulties with providing updates as quickly as we would wish. 

Individuals can register with SODC, in a simple way, to receive notification of new applications and subsequent updates  for resident postcodes. Click below and we hope it helps.


Article created / last edited: 21 December 2016

Parish Council Affirms Objection to New Road Development


The latest in a series of applications P16/S3778/O in New Rd. Lower Shiplake was reviewed formally at the parish council meeting on Monday 12th December.

Amongst several planning reasons, the threat posed by this application is the site is outside of the current villages' curtilages and is a green field site. Click here to see the formal response to SODC with supporting reasons for rejecting the application.

You can view the application details, responses to date and, importantly, record your own views at the SODC website by clicking below, which need to be submitted by Thursday 15th December:


It is important that residents respond as the development would breach the village curtilage, potentially creating a precedent for other speculative developments.

You can also acccess the SODC website via the Shiplake website Planning Page and simply type in the applcation number: P16/S3778/O. 

Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 13 December 2016

Don't let developers grind you down!


Given the plethora of planning applications we are currently being subjected to, we need the help of residents in objecting to those that would not be considered if SODC was managing its housing requirements effectively.

Click here and read the attached from David Bartholomew (OCC Councillor) to find out how you can help ensure we have the villages we want and NOT an urban sprawl forced upon us.

Once you have done that why not find out how you can help some more in the imminent November issue of Shiplake News. A little bit of help can make BIG difference!

Shiplake Parish Council Planning Group

Article created / last edited: 14 November 2016

Objections to Large Retirement Village in Shiplake


SODC's shortfall in providing an updated planning strategy, to meet the Government's new targets, is leading to a plethora of aggressive entrepreneurial planning applications that could transform the rural nature South Oxfordshire for ever. The issues facing Shiplake will be featured in November's Shiplake News. Most immediately, however, we have to respond by 25th November, to the latest proposal for a retirement village (40-bed care home, 66 houses/apartments and a club house) on the A4155 between Lower Shiplake and Shiplake Cross.

Several residents responded to a promotional leaflet circulated by the developer and may feel their objections have already been registered. They do not from a planning perspective and, as with Thames farm and Mt Ida, it essential that residents respond with their views.

The parish council is strongly objecting to the development on the basis of it being fundamentally unsutainable, isolated on a greenfield site beyond the curtilages of both villages, at a dangerous location on the A4155 and severely harmful to the rural character and appearance of the area. The full text of our objections is available by clicking P16/S3438/0 here. You can access the SODC website via the Planning page of the village website or click here http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/ccm/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails&REF=P16/S3438/O to go directly to the SODC website and register your views. 

Article created / last edited: 11 November 2016

Mt Ida - Parish Council Response and John Howell Visit Rescheduled


Once again, the time provided to respond to the an application is very short with Monday 26th (next week) the final day. The parish council's PWG decided to recommend refusal of the application for the reasons stated below. Please use as you feel appropriate. We note residents comments on the website forum and advise you respond to the application with your views by Monday evening. Click here to link to the application on the SODC website.                 


1)      The proposal is contrary to Policy CSR1 of the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy and would constitute over-development ,  thereby adversely affecting the character of the area.

2)      This over-development would lead to serious issues of traffic generation and highway safety, by generating movements from up to 15-20 vehicles in/out of one exit (only used by 1/2 cars in the past)on to a recognised dangerous stretch of the busy A4155 Henley-Reading main road.

3)      The proposal makes no provision for “safe and suitable access for all people”, notably pedestrians, to/from the site, as there are no pavements/footpaths on the A4155. Consequently all people movements in/out of the site would have to be by car, which is by definition unsustainable.

4)      Consequently the site would not be socially integrated with the existing village community of Lower Shiplake.

5)      The site was only recently reviewed –and rejected-as a development site as part of the now approved JHHNP process.

Click here to connect to this application on SODC's planning website page  

Also, please note the meeting with John Howell MP meeting on Thursday 29th September is being rescheduled. 

Once again, thank you for all your support in these matters. 

Shiplake Parish Council PWG

Article created / last edited: 24 September 2016

Thames Farm - SODC's Notice of Refusal of Planning Permission


A copy of SODC's 'Refusal of Outline Planning Permission' notice for Thames Farm is on the planning page of the villages' website. The reasons given vindicate the views of Henley TC, Harpsden and Shiplake councils, our OCC and SODC District councillors and, most importantly, residents. Click here to view it....it makes interesting reading.

Article created / last edited: 23 September 2016

Mt. Ida and other developments


Recently the parish council referenced the likelihood of an increase in the proposals and planning applications from developers to build a large number of houses in Shiplake. 

Planning applications c/o SODC will be assessed by the parish council's Planning Working Group and a recommendation made based on national planning policy, guidelines and local factors. The application for Mt. Ida was considered on 19/09/2016 and the group unanimously agreed to reject the applications for essentially the same reasons as that for Thames Farm.

The specifics of the reasons will be publicly available shortly via the SODC website referenced by: P16/S2861/O with public responses required by 26/09/2016. Click here to provide your response or use the planning section of the Shiplake website to access the SODC Planning Dept. link.

The parish council offers the opportunity for developers to discuss their proposals/plans during the Open Forum section of monthly council meetings.    

Article created / last edited: 20 September 2016

Thames Farm...some confusion as to which site it is!


The latest issue of the Henley Standard includes a letter from a Henley resident disappointed that Thames Farm site was rejected at the SODC committee meeting on 7/9/16. On reading the text, there is clearly confusion with the now derelict Wyevale garden centre. This has been confirmed with the resident. Other incidences of such mistaken views have also been reported verbally. Harpsden parish council's chairman, Kester George, is expected to clarify the position next week.

It would appear that some people mistakenly think that the derelict Wyvale site is Thames Farm and should be developed, whereas Thames farm is a greenfield site. Please ensure that such views are corrected in any conversations you might have.

Article created / last edited: 15 September 2016

Thames Farm Rejected!


South Oxfordshire District Council has voted unanimously to reject the revised Thames Farm planning application. More details to follow in due course but, most immediately, the Parish Council's enormous gratitude to all those who submitted their written objections and the great support at the SODC Committee Meeting this evening, with 70 to 80+ residents....even standing room was difficult to find!

The high quality of the written objections from residents was highlighted and appreciated. The presentations from our parish chairmen, Tudor Taylor (Shiplake) and Kester George (Harpsden), David Bartholomew (Oxfordshire CC) and Paul Harrison SODC district councillor were all excellent in making the case for rejection of the application. Very strong support for the cause and championing the validity and integrity of the Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan came from Henley's David Nimmo-Smith, OCC  and SODC Councillor.

Thank you all for your efforts and ensuring democracy prevailed!  

Article created / last edited: 7 September 2016

Thames Farm: A 'U turn' by SODC & What's at Stake


SODC planning officers are doing a total 'U turn' in recommending approval of the latest application for 95 houses. The application is little different from the original plan they strongly rejected, as did the govt. inspector on appeal by the applicant. The decision will be made next week on Wednesday 7th September at 6pm.


How? If you received a direct email from the parish council, please respond as requested.

If not, you are not on our secure email list. As a resident you really should be, so click on planning@shiplakevillages.com to make sure you are and start helping us right now... your name, email address and location in Shiplake is all we need.

What's at Stake? children's education - destruction of our rural environment - road safety issues - more cars parking in Shiplake - greater pollution and congestion in Shiplake and Henley

HELP US FIGHT to avoid becoming an urban extension of Henley.

Article created / last edited: 31 August 2016

Thames Farm: Do you want Shiplake to become an urban extension of Henley?


Further to our recent e-mail, we strongly suggest that you email the SODC planning committee urging they refuse the application. Their e-mail addresses are given below in a form that you can cut and paste into your own e-mail programme:

 joan.bland@southoxon.gov.uk ; felixbloomfield@hotmail.com ; mldaviesbb@btinternet.com ; Anthony.dearlove@aol.co.uk ; jeannette.matelot@southoxon.gov.uk ; toby.newman@southoxon.gov.uk ; david.nimmo-smith@southoxon.gov.uk ; richard.pullen@southoxon.gov.uk ; david.turner@southoxon.gov.uk ; margaret.turner@southoxon.gov.uk ; ian.white@southoxon.gov.uk ; charles.bailey@southoxon.gov.uk ; stefan.gawrysiak@southoxon.gov.uk ; paul.harrison@suk.sas.com ; stephen.harrod@southoxon.gov.uk ; lorraine.hillier@southoxon.gov.uk ; elaine.hornsby@southoxon.gov.uk ; Imran@ImranLokhon.co.uk ; Sue.Lawson@southoxon.gov.uk

Article created / last edited: 29 August 2016

Thames Farm Appeal & 2nd Application Update


Many residents have supported the parish council in recommending rejection of the planning applications for housing development at the Thames Farm site. Below is a brief update on the status of both applications: 
Original Application: The Secretary of State has been given the permission needed to appeal the decision of the High Court, with respect to the quashing of the Planning Inspector's decision rejecting the planning application. The appeal will therefore now be considered by the Court of Appeal, before three judges, at a hearing on a date yet to be confirmed, but likely to be late July/early August.
Current Application: The SODC Planning Committee Meeting date has yet to beconfirmed. The earliest meeting it could be referred to would the one scheduled for 10th August. 

Article created / last edited: 30 June 2016

Third Reading Bridge Update 27th April 2016


The traffic modelling study of the potential impact of a third Reading Bridge at Playhatch has morphed into a 'Strategic Outline Business Case', which wrongly seems to suggest that all parties are supporters of the scheme.  Click here to see David Bartholomew's (OCC Councillor) recent update of 27/04/2016 with an outline of proposed location of the bridge. The parish council has expressed concerns about the potential impact of a third bridge in the proposed location and is awaiting further updates on the progress of this initiative.

Article created / last edited: 23 May 2016

Thames Farm Responses extended to 6th May


For administrative reasons SODC  have extended the consultation deadline to 6th May - so many thanks to all those many that have responded ...and there's still time for any who have not yet done so. Send in your response to SODC on this important matter for our village. Click on the link below:


Article created / last edited: 27 April 2016



Another Thames Farm planning application...please click here to see parish council's response to be published in the Henley Standard. As with the prior application, we need the support of residents in opposing this application. The first link below will take you to SODC's planning system response page for this application. For more detailed information, the second link will take you to the application itself with the opportunity to respond also.

We will be publishing out local OCC councillor's response on the website...more clear reasons why the application should be rejected.

Please respond asap...the closing date for responses is Monday 25th April..not much time!  



Article created / last edited: 18 April 2016

10 Reasons for Rejecting Thames Farm Application


Click on this link to see 10 very good reasons for rejecting the new application. Please feel free to incorporate in your responses to SODC as you feel appropriate.

Our thanks to David Bartholomew (OCC Councillor) for his submission.

Please ensure you respond by 25th April!

Article created / last edited: 13 April 2016

JHHNP Referendum Result


There was 28% turnout, 83% of whom voted YES, which represents overwhelming support for the Henley and Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan. The parish council believes the plan's approach will benefit Henley, Harpsden and the surrounding villages. 

Article created / last edited: 11 March 2016

THAMES FARM - More Leaflets!! What Next?


A number of Shiplake residents have now reported receiving the leaflet in their mail. There has also been coverage in the Henley Standard referencing the misleading nature of the content.
If you do get one, you are encouraged to respond with your comments. If you have not seen it, click here for a copy..... you can also use it to make a response electronically as other residents have probably done.
SPC Planning Working Group - 06/02/2016 

Article created / last edited: 6 February 2016

Thames Farm - Latest


Shiplake residents have expressed concerns regarding a promotional leaflet, recently sent to Henley and Harpsden households, outlining a revised development 'following consultations with SODC.....'. The leaflet is misleading ....click here for an upddate on the parish council's views.

You can also view the leaflet by clicking here.

SPC Planning Working Group - 04.02.2016

Article created / last edited: 4 February 2016

Thames Farm....Latest News!


We understand the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Governmen has lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the recent Judicial Review decision (12/10/2015), which quashed the Planning Inspector's decision rejecting the development. This is quite a significant development in this matter and we await further news and a press statement  from SODC for further details.   

Article created / last edited: 1 December 2015

Thames Farm...Localism to Prevail??


Given the recent publicity and comment re the Thames Farm appeal, click here for  a copy of a letter from Tudor Taylor and Kester George, respective Chairmen of Shiplake and Harpsden Parish Councils, to the Henley Standard.  

Article created / last edited: 1 December 2015




We have just been informed that the applicant has successfully challenged the Planning Inspectorate's decision through a process of judicial review at the High Court and secured the quashing of the planning inspector's recent decision. As yet we do not have the full details of the judgement, but our understanding is that this does not have the effect of granting planning permission and will require a further public inquiry to be held. 

We are obviously disappointed at this news but remain firmly opposed to this application. Accordingly we shall study the judgement against the Planning Inspectorate carefully, when it is available to us, and take appropriate advice to determine the next steps we can take to fight this application. We will keep everyone informed of developments. 

Shiplake Parish Council Planning Group

Article created / last edited: 7 November 2015

Thames Farm Appeal Dismissed!


It is fantastic news that the Inspector has dismissed the Appeal, referencing the site as being unsustainable for residential housing development and agreeing with many of the points raised by the parish council in this respect.
" A massive thank you to Geoff Thomas, Chair of the parish planning group: the planning group itself; my fellow parish councillors and most importantly all of the residents who gave up their time to support the presentation team at the Inquiry in Henley in December - all the effort was worth it!"
Tudor Taylor Parish Chairman
The parish council will be examining the detail of the Inspector's decision and will provide an update on the 27th May at the APM. Click here to read a copy of the Inspector's report. 

Article created / last edited: 29 June 2015



The Thames Farm public inquiry concluded on Thursday evening (18/12/2014) with closing submissions by Susanne Ornsby, the QC acting for SODC, and David Cooper, the lawyer acting for the appellant. Prior to that, excellent closing statements had been made by the respective chairmen of Shiplake and Harpsden parish councils, Tudor Taylor and Kester George...click here to read more details with information on projected decision date 

Article created / last edited: 21 January 2015

Cllr. David Bartholomew's Support for the Parish


The November issue of Shiplake News highlights a number of activities, issues and initiatives on and for which David Bartholomew has strongly supported the parish council and the SVP Steering Committee. A fuller summary of these aspects ot his work is available here....

Article created / last edited: 13 November 2014

Shiplake/Harpsden Parish Boundary Changes


Pursuant to the public consultation process, the outcome of the community governance review has been confirmed by SODC and is consistent with the recommendations made by both Shiplake and Harpsden parish councils. The changes will begin to become effective with the updates to the electoral register later this year. A revised parish map will be punlished on this website when made available.

The recommended changes were:

To move all land bounded by the A4155, Bolney Lane and Bolney Road currently lying in Harpsden parish, together with a small area of land north of Bolney Lane, into Shiplake Parish.

To move all land bounded by A4155, Woodlands Road and current boundary which currently lies in Shiplake Parish into Harpsden Parish.

Maps representing these changes  can be viewed on the website. Click Shiplake and Harpsden. 

Article created / last edited: 29 September 2014

The Dangers of Unsafe Access for New Housing Developments on the A4155


Dear Resident

Firstly, our thanks for your strong support in objecting to the proposed development at Thames Farm. A key aspect of the parish council’s objections relates to the urbanisation of the road access to the villages and the inherent increased dangers created by road widening and inappropriate new access points on the A4155, used by increasing volumes of traffic.

There are other related issues, not least the proposed removal of trees and other vegetation along the A4155, which will have a highly detrimental impact on the country side nature of the villages.

The council, with the benefit of advice from its consultant, has questioned strongly the 'expert' opinions of OCC's Highways department regarding the road widening, together with the vehicle and pedestrian access proposals for Thames Farm. We have responded similarly with two other current applications on the A4155, one of which (Chelford House) has involved the removal of several mature trees on the approach to Station Road and will create a significant additional safety hazard to all road users in our view.

As with all 'expert' evidence, it does not mean it is correct nor that its recommendations will not cause harm to the environment or the community and road users. Often it is found to be wrong, as is the case with the level crossing in Shiplake, which was repeatedly classified as not requiring safety barriers but after several near tragic accidents was found to be one of the most dangerous in the country and with strong parish council lobbying barriers were installed. Shiplake Parish Council's position is the same in this case and that user safety is paramount. The recommendations of OCC Highways are often unsound in our view and in agreeing to such applications they endangers lives; the theoretical analysis is no substitute for 'real world' observation, particularly when it seems such observations are often made during the middle of the day when traffic conditions are relatively benign and unrepresentative of conditions at peak usage times of the day.

OCC Highways acknowledge our concerns regarding this stretch of road.

Nevertheless, recommendations are generally in favour of the applicant in order to avoid any incidences of appeal. In short, it appears that expediency is the primary concern not safety!

Statements such as, 'the proposed access is not inappropriate by comparison to contemporary adopted standards', provide no confidence whatsoever in such judgements. What does this mean? It appears to be some convenient form of words that renders previous traffic engineering judgements as being inappropriate and irrelevant. It is difficult to believe there is a good case for making less stringent judgements when traffic volumes have increased so significantly in recent decades?

We value your support and know it makes a difference. In opposing such developments on the A4155 we trust you do not mind the council periodically asking for that support in responding to such applications. Most immediately, the contentious ones are P14/S1361/FUL - Chelford House - and P14/S1822 - plot of land south of Tower House (technically the date for responding to this application has passed but your comments will be referenced by the council in support of its submission to reject both these applications).
Every response counts.

You can access the applications by clicking the above references or by going to the South Oxfordshire website, planning section and entering the application number. We thank you for your continuing support.

Tudor Taylor – Chairman, Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 1 September 2014

SPC's Response to Thames Farm Development


To see Shiplake Parish Council's response please click here. We would urge all residents to respond  by Monday 23 June if not done so already. For the many that have, many thanks. Local representation from residents gives the inspector an insight into the real issues related to a development, as opposed to technical representations from a developer designed solely to favour their viewpoint. The council's letter comprehensively covers the reasons why the development is entirely unsuitable and should continue to be rejected.
Should you be pressed for time, we would suggest you  simply register your objection TODAY (22/06/2014) as follows:
 "I write in support of the objections lodged by Harpsden and Shiplake Parish Councils against this Appeal", making sure that you include the reference 
APP/Q3115/A/14/2217931. The email address is: peter.kozak@pins.gsi.gov.uk
Adding specifics related to such as: Contrary to SODC Core Strategy approved by the government as recently as 2012; Thames Farm site rejected as unsuitable for housing development by JHHNP committee; local infrastructure inadequate to accommodate such a development; widening of the A4155 road will make crossing the road even more dangerous than it currently is; Shiplake Primary School already oversubscribed; creation of 'ribbon development' from Henley to Reading contrary to national planning guidelines etc. 
It is important that as many residents as possible respond. The negative impact on Shiplake of this site being developed will be considerable.
Many thanks for your support. 
Shiplake Parish Council

Article created / last edited: 27 June 2014

Shiplake/Harpsden Parish Boundaries Review


As previously reported in the newsletter and on the website, a community governance review would be taking place to consider changes to the parish boundaries between Shiplake and Harpsden. The consultation with affected residents was completed on 31st May and we await the outcome of SODC’s determinations, possibly in September, based on consideration of the responses and other criteria for the proposed changes. 

The recommended changes were:

To move all land bounded by the A4155, Bolney Lane and Bolney Road currently lying in Harpsden parish, together with a small area of land north of Bolney Lane, into Shiplake Parish.

To move all land bounded by A4155, Woodlands Road and current boundary which currently lies in Shiplake Parish into Harpsden Parish. Maps representing these changes  can be viewed on the website. Click Shiplake or Harpsden

Article created / last edited: 2 July 2014

A Bridge Too Far?


Although a long term issue a 3rd bridge at Playhatch/Caversham could have significant implications for Shiplake. David Bartholomew, our OCC Councillor, is representing local interests in this matter and, adding to the earlier article on the website, the latest update following a meeting including MP’s Theresa May (Maidenhead), John Howell (Henley) and Rob Wilson (Reading East,), is that a modelling of projected traffic impacts on the local infrastructure will be undertaken using Wokingham’s  expertise and IT facilities. 

Article created / last edited: 20 June 2014

JHHNP Released & Thames Farm Launches Appeal


Thames Farm has just launched an appeal against the rejected planning application for 100+ houses, underlining the importance of residents responding to the Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan consultation proposals. See below for details.
As reported in the Henley Standard, the draft JHHNP plan has been released and there will be a 6 week period of consultation from Friday 16 May to Friday 27 June during which people can make comments and suggestions.This can be done using an online survey which can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/jhhnp.
Both the draft plan and questionnaire can be downloaded from the neighbourhood plan website www.jhhnp.co.uk.
In addition we understand that there will be:
-a fixed display in the Henley Town Hall foyer during the consultation period 
-a drop-in exhibition in the council chamber at the Town Hall on
Friday 30 May (noon-8pm)
Saturday 31 May (10am-4pm)
Wednesday 25 June (5pm-9pm)
Thursday 26 June (5pm-9pm).
As previously reported, the local Thames Farm, Mount Ida and former Wyevale sites have been rejected as unsuitable for residential development  in the draft plan, although the former Wyevale site remains a commercial site. Shiplake residents can now get full details of the draft plan in the above ways and make their personal views known. 

Article created / last edited: 28 May 2014

Thames Farm & Mount Ida Rejected as Development Sites


Thames Farm & Mount Ida Rejected as Development Sites by JHHNP

As referenced earlier on the website and in the Shiplake Newsletter, the  Parish Council had made clear to the Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan (JHHNP) project team the unsuitability of the above sites for development. Their rejection as development sites by the project team and their consultants is a positive outcome, consistent with SODC’s Core Strategy for development in the district.

The Wyvale site was also considered unsuitable for housing development. It is, however currently classified as suitable for aspects of commercial use and may be given consideration for such in the future. The Parish Council will clearly monitor and respond appropriately to any unsuitable proposals for the site. JHHNP’s plan will published next month and go out for a 6 week public consultation period before a second draft is produced for referendum purposes. Further details can be found via the Henley Standard website accessible via the links on the Home page. 

Article created / last edited: 22 May 2014

Shiplake/Harpsden Parish Boundary Recommendations


The parish council previously notified residents of its request for parts of Bolney and Northfield roads, currently in the Harpsden, to become part of Shiplake. This is part of a periodic Community Governance Review undertaken by SODC. The logic of the majority of our requests have been received positively by SODC and its recommendations are now being prepared for consultation with affected councils and residents.

You can view below the notification from David Buckle - SODC Chief Executive - and the 'Matter to be considered' document referencing our requests, other relevant responses and SODC's recommendation, together with justification for the changes. There is also a map of the relevant parts of Shiplake and Harpsden highlighting the recommended changes.

As stated above, all residents affected by the recommendations will be included in the consulation process due for completion by 31 May 2014. As noted in the documentation, Harpsden parish council has confirmed it 'sees the sense in moving the built-up area immediately adjacent  to Lower Shiplake into Shiplake parish'. 

Community Governance Review Notification
Shiplake/Harpsden Matter to be considered CRG 19
Proposed Parish Boundary Changes

Article created / last edited: 8 April 2014

3rd bridge over Thames - Your Views?


Given the impact of the floods on travelling in recent weeks, the issue of a 3rd bridge over the Thames in the Sonning/Payhatch/Caversham area has been raised again. Reading Council have been in favour of a new bridge for many years, whereas South Oxfordshire has consistently opposed one, as embodied in its agreed Local Plan. Rob Wilson (MP, Reading East) and John Howell (MP, Henley) will be having a Summit meeting with affected councils early in March. 

John Howell has asked all councils in the area for their views prior to the Summit and we are sure he would like to hear the views of local residents too. His contact details are howelljm@parliament.uk or tel: 0207 219 6676. Twitter contact is: @johnhowellmp

Shiplake Parish Council's views are consistent with the Local Plan and are essentially the same as they were in 2009, when we were asked for our views: 

  • We understand that Reading has severe traffic problems but some of their proposed solutions would adversely affect Shiplake.
  • We were dismayed that Reading have not consulted us in any way.
  • Another Bridge or a ‘Park and Ride’ at Playhatch would be unwelcome developments that would change the rural character of the area for the worse.
  • Either measure would generate greatly increased traffic on the A4155 to/through Henley on the existing stressed road system in South Oxon. and would only serve to increase congestion and the risk of accidents. It would push a problem from Reading to Henley and the South  Oxon. area, aggravating existing traffic and pollution  problems and damage the surrounding environment.
  • We would welcome improved public transport, either a better bus service between Reading and Henley or a ‘no-change’ rail shuttle.

The SODC Local Plan is stated as:

Cross Thames travel

5.12 The River Thames forms much of the western and southern boundary to the district and it runs through the district from south of Abingdon to north of Goring. Over much of its length the capacity of the river crossings form a barrier to movement.

5.13 The problem is particularly severe around Reading where the local authorities in the area have been examining potential options for many years. Many residents in the south of the district live to the north of Reading and work, shop and use other services in Reading. There has been considerable pressure for a further bridge. However, the Oxfordshire authorities consider that if the capacity of the crossings is increased it will lead to unacceptable increases in traffic on the network in South Oxfordshire and affect the quality of life of residents.

5.14 We recognise that alternatives need to be explored and we will continue to work with the local authorities on both sides of the river. In the first instance we will support public transport measures which offer benefits to residents of the district whilst improving cross Thames travel.

Article created / last edited: 3 April 2014

Joint Harpsden & Henley Neighbourhood Plan


Joint Henley & Harpsden Neighbourhood Plan (JHHNP) 

Given the inclusion of three proposed development sites immediately on our Parish Boundaries within the current JHHNP consultation process, namely Thames Farm, Mt. Ida and the Wyevale Garden Centre, the Parish Council has made clear to the JHHNP project team and their consultants, Nexus, the unsuitability of these sites for development. Development of these sites would be contrary to SODC’s recently adopted Core Strategy, as highlighted by the unanimous rejection by the SODC Planning Committee, of the planning application for more than 100 houses at Thames Farm on 30th of October 2013. As clearly shown in the recent SVP survey and report, the impact of such housing developments on our boundaries would be untenable and against the significant majority of Shiplake residents’ wishes. We are currently awaiting the JHHNP response.

Geoff Thomas – Shiplake Planning Working Group

Article created / last edited: 3 April 2014

Parish Boundaries Review


New Parish Boundaries?

This question has arisen because SODC conducts a periodic review of parish boundaries as part of a Community Governance Review and asked us for our views.  The main purpose of the process is to align parish boundaries and housing in the most meaningful manner. 

There are a number of houses on the edge of the villages e.g. in Bolney Road and Northfield Avenue that are very much part of Shiplake in terms of access and facilities but are in Harpsden Parish; these residents were included and accounted for in the SVP surveys and subsequent recent report. Similarly, there are also a significant number of houses in Woodlands Road, which are currently in the Parish of Shiplake, whilst others reside in Harpsden Parish.

 Shiplake Parish Council responded to SODC, submitting what it believes to be a considered and logical request for changes in the parish boundaries to take account of these considerations i.e. that Shiplake Parish be extended to include the whole of Bolney Road and Northfield Avenue, with Bolney Lane thence as the boundary running up to the junction with the A4155 and continuing towards Woodlands Road.  Harpsden Parish Council appear sympathetic to some of our requests but not all and the Parish Council has responded to SODC taking account of their viewpoint. 

In order that we have some indication of the level of support for our proposals, we have conducted a simple, hand delivered survey to gather the views of affected householders. 24 out of 32 households responding to the survey (over 60 delivered) were in favour of the requested boundary changes. The majority of those in favour are residents of Bolney Road and Northfield Avenue.

In the survey we emphasised that a process of formal consultation would be undertaken by SODC, with all interested parties able to express their views openly and fully before any final decisions are reached. This assumes, of course, that SODC agree in whole or part with our proposals. SODC’s recommendations and any subsequent consultations should be made and occur in the Spring of this year.

Geoff Thomas – Shiplake Planning Working Group

Article created / last edited: 3 April 2014