10 June 2014 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 10 June 2014 at 7.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Cllr D Bretherton, D Butler, N Champken-Woods, A Dite, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), D Dodds, M Dyer, H Fickling, A Gunn, V Humphries, D Laver,
J Matelot Green (Town Mayor), M Stiles and M Welply.
H Stewart, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Emery (Holiday), Lambert (Holiday) and Cllr Carter, Oxfordshire County Council.
2 Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Public Participation
Mr Burgen of Stoford Developments addressed the Council in support of planning application P14/S1347/FUL. Groves and Windles, currently based in Long Crendon, had been seeking the opportunity to relocate their businesses to Thame for some time. The relocation of both companies would secure current employment and provide potential for growth and increase employment in the future. Consultation was taking place with the Highways department on road access and crossing points with provision for a new footpath and cycleway along Howland Road. A Stopping Up Order would be sought for a footpath on the site that led to the small barn.
An archeological study had taken place and work had commenced on the bat roost to re house bats currently roosting in the old farm buildings. However, a licence would need to be obtained before movement of the bats could take place and it was not anticipated this would happen until November.
4 P14/S1347/FUL – Land at Cotmore Wells Farm, Towersey Road
Councillors received a report from Mr Collinge, Planning Consultant to the Town Council. In assessing the application it was acknowledged that, due to the scale of the site, the proposals were contrary to Policy WS11 of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan. However, it was considered that, in combination, the following factors were sufficient to justify a departure from the Plan:
- Retaining ‘local’ jobs in Thame
- Facilitating the expansion of two local businesses
- Creating additional employment in Thame
- Secondary economic benefits from retaining existing and creating new business linkages
- Off-setting for loss of existing employment land/buildings through permitted development.
In addition it was considered that the following matters would be identified to the District Planning Officer as requiring further consideration and resolution:
- Discussion with the District Council’s landscape officer to ensure that the depth and form of soft landscaping delivered an appropriate level of visual mitigation of the development.
- Consideration be given to assessing the cumulative effect of development on traffic movements and junction capacity.
- An update to the Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) as there were anomalies between the extent of hard surface areas noted in the FRA to those proposed.
- Mechanisms to ensure the delivery, and acceptability, of replacement bat housing.
- Detail to be provided of the findings of the additional archaeological assessment.
- Evidence of the impact on project viability of achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, prior to accepting a ‘Very Good’ rating.
i) The planning application P14/S1347/FUL be Approved.
5 Maintenance Vehicle
The Ford Transit van had failed an MOT and the cost of repair to enable it to pass the MOT far outweighed the predicted useful life of the vehicle. Members agreed that the best value be obtained for the Ford Transit van and a replacement vehicle is purchased.
i) Funds are released from the Vehicle Replacement Budget to purchase a used/ex demo model van and fit with the additional features as detailed in the report.
6 Grant Awards
After discussion it was agreed to approve the grant awards as recommended by the Budget Working Group. In addition support would be given to a request for funding from 21st Century Thame to purchase additional items for the equipment bank.
i) The grant awards as recommended by the Budget Working Group be agreed in accordance with the powers identified in Appendix 1.
ii) That up to £500 from the grant budget be given to 21st Century Thame for the purchase of items for the equipment bank.
iii) That a working group comprising Cllrs Butler, Champken-Woods, Dixon, Dyer, Fickling and Laver be set up to review the grant award procedure and report back to the Policy & Resources Committee in October.
7 Thame Players
Following approval by the Town Council of a request from Thame Players Theatre for an interest free loan a loan agreement had been drawn up and signed on behalf of the Thame Players Theatre by its Chairman and Treasurer.
i) The loan agreement be signed by the Mayor and Town Clerk
ii) £38,000 be released by way of a cheque immediately.
The meeting concluded at 8.34pm
Chairman, 24 June 2014