Plans for a 115-room Premier Inn at Henley have been thrown out on appeal.

Blocwork, a joint venture between landowner Network Rail and developer Bloc Group, had proposed a five-storey hotel in the station car park but the application was rejected by South Oxfordshire District Council in August.

Now planning inspector Hollie Nicholls has ruled that the much-opposed plan was neither in keeping with the area nor aesthetically pleasing.

Her report, following an appeal in public at Henley Rugby Club on May 10, stated: “The sense of arrival into Henley by railway would be markedly changed by the proposal.

“The scale of the building, and its austere qualities, combined with its siting in relation to the railway line and station platforms, would result in it forming a dominant feature to arriving passengers and as they exit the station to the side, directly facing the appeal site.

“Similarly, the proximity of the end flank wall to the public conveniences would make this area of public realm appear oppressive and uninviting.

“Though there would be connectivity through to the rear car park around this end of the building, it would still feel like an unwelcoming, dark, narrow alley space, which would not be overcome through the small number of bedroom windows or a reliance on streetlighting and CCTV.

“Though the introduction of a hotel and its patrons would increase the footfall in the area at all times of day and night, the users of the public conveniences would still be at a disadvantage through the limited visibility of the area around them.”

Blocwork said it is considering its options.

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