02 February 2016 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 2 February 2016 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods, P Cowell, M Deacock,
N Dixon (Town Mayor), D Dodds, M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor),
H Fickling, C Jones, M Stiles and T Wyse.
G Hunt, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Personal), Lambert (Holiday) and Midwinter (Holiday).
2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Public Participation and Public Questions
Mr David Hutchison of Pegasus Group spoke in support of planning application P15/S2166/RM – Land West of Thame Park Road. He began by thanking the Town Council for the ongoing dialogue from the beginning of the process. He also thanked the Council’s Planning Consultant for the time spent in meetings and discussions. The result of which was that the Consultant’s Report was broadly in support of the proposed scheme.
With regard to the recommendation in Section 7 of the report, the flank elevations were being reviewed and the architect was in touch with the Council’s Planning Consultant to discuss the plot numbers concerned. It was felt that the boundary treatments should be considered on an area by area basis as the suggested more rural treatments in the report as opposed to brick would be appropriate in some areas but not the entire development.
The preferred road treatment would be block paved to achieve a more rural feel and to reduce future maintenance issues. With regard to the riverside walks along the Cuttle Brook the developer was not unwilling to provide the footpaths but it was a matter of discussion with the land owner. The development would not commence until agreement on the footpaths had been reached.
The selected Registered Social Landlord is liaising with the District Council with regard to the affordable housing on the site and the District had indicated they were happy with the proposed mix.
The scheme had come a long way to meeting the requirements of the Council and the developers were actively looking to resolve the outstanding issues.
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 January 2016 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
5 P15/S2166/RM (Reserved Matters)Land West of Thame Park Road
The Town Council’s Planning Consultant gave some background to the site, including the access and number of dwellings that had been agreed in the outline planning consent granted in June 2014. A number of meetings had taken place with the Town Council and the developer following which amendments had been made and the layout in this application reflected broadly what the Council expected to see.
The house types had been improved and further amendments to window openings, additional flank elevations and boundary treatments would hopefully reach an acceptable conclusion. Whilst the riverside walks were covered by the S106 agreement it was felt it would be inappropriate to approve a scheme without it showing what footpaths were proposed.
Parking arrangements met the correct standard The private housing mix was broadly the same as other development sites in the town. Confirmation was still awaited from the District Council as to the acceptability of the proposed affordable housing mix.
i) A recommendation of approval be made subject to a satisfactory conclusion being reached on the following:
- To enable the following design issues to be addressed:
- The delivery of enhanced flank elevations to dwellings throughout the development (through additional window openings and detailing) where such elevations adjoin, abut or front the public realm, or have an interface with the public realm.
- Revisions to the proposed treatment of garden boundaries on the southern edge of the site, within the site and adjacent to parking courtyards – such alternative treatment to comprise 1.8m high brick walls or similar.
- Alternative finish to roadways and parking areas on the rural edge boundaries of the site.
- To enable appropriate provision to be made in the landscape proposals for a riverside walk / footpath to the satisfaction of the Town Council.
- To enable amendments to the landscape proposals to facilitate off-site links at various locations along the northern boundary of the site and additional planting on the eastern edge of the parking courtyard to plots 171 – 175.
- To amend the ecological proposals to ensure all enhancements are deliverable.
- To allow confirmation from the District Council that the proposed mix of affordable housing units is acceptable.
6 P15/S1637/O – Kingsmead Business Park, Howland Road
Discussion took place on the options that would be available to the Town Council should it be seen likely that the Planning Authority were minded to approve the application for a supermarket on the Kingsmead Business Park in Howland Road, in particular the Calling In process.
The whole planning process had started in October 2014 and had been extended with an indication from the Planning Authority that it was now likely to be considered early in March. During this time there had been one further submission from Tesco and three iterations this, combined with the length of time taken, had given rise to concern with the way in which the decision process was proceeding.
The Town Council had recommended refusal of the planning application as it did not conform to policies in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan and the independent Retail Impact Study had concluded that there would be a high level of trade diversion from the High Street. In these circumstances the Town Council thought it appropriate to look at other options should the District Planning Officer be minded to recommend Approval and / or the District Council granted planning permission.
The Town Council had the option to request that the Secretary of State consider Calling In the planning application. This request could only be done between the point at which the Planning Officer’s recommendation was made public and the District Council Planning meeting or once the District Council had made the decision to grant permission and the planning permission was issued (this would only be 4-5 days). In either scenario the timescale was such that it would not be possible to call an additional meeting of the Town Council to agree on the course of action to be taken.
Members agreed that the process of Calling In the planning application should be undertaken if the decision seemed likely to approve the application but that should the Secretary of State then agree to the Call In the item would be brought back to Council for further discussion and to agree the level of funding for the process.
i) Cllrs Austin, Bretherton and Dyer, with the support of other Councillors / Staff as necessary be delegated to process relevant action (within current budgets) should it seem likely that the planning application would be approved.
The meeting concluded at 7.16pm
Chairman, 1 March 2016