31 July 2018 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 31 July 2018 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, D Butler, N Champken-Woods, P Cowell,
M Deacock, N Dixon, M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling, C Jones,
P Lambert, A Midwinter, M Stiles and T Wyse (Town Mayor).
G Hunt, Town Clerk
G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dodds (SODC).
2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
Cllr Deacock declared a pecuniary interest in item 7 and did not take part in the debate or vote.
3 Civic Announcements
Cllr Midwinter said it had been a very busy month, she had attended many enjoyable events and met some lovely people.
4 Public Participation and Public Questions
Tina Fegent and Ken Burch spoke against planning application P18/S2260/FUL on behalf of the residents of Moreton. Ken said the developers had met with the residents and held a public exhibition, however, it was felt that the plans submitted did not address the points which the residents raised. A village vote had taken place and 88 residents had taken part representing a 75% turnout. Of the votes cast 36 did not want any more development, 19 were happy for the proposed development to go ahead, 32 would be happy but with major changes to the plan and there was 1 abstention.
Tina said there were three main points to address; infill, sustainability and design. Firstly the proposed development is not infill and did not conform to the District’s Core Strategy policy CSR1. It represented inappropriate development in a village which has no infrastructure to support it. There was no school, public house or shop and no access to public transport or safe walking or cycle routes. Residents of the new development would be over reliant on private transport.
Residents had conducted a traffic survey over several hours covering different times of the day, the result of which showed the scheme would generate an additional seven trips per hour, double the figure shown in the transport statement.
The proposal was for a small estate of mock farmhouses and barns. The overall scale and design of which was not in keeping with the character of the village.
Ken said SODC had stated 15% growth for larger villages, if the seven dwellings went ahead it, together with other recent developments would result in 20% growth in Moreton. Accepting the points made by Tina, 19 residents did support the development and 32 were happy with major changes being applied e.g. a maximum of five dwellings on site and plot one removed (and replaced with public open space).
Giles Brockbank spoke on behalf of Lucy Developments the applicant for planning application P18/S2260/FUL. The planning application had been submitted following consultation with the Town Council and the wider community. Following a public exhibition in Moreton, which was well attended and meetings with the Town Council the views and opinions expressed were taken on board.
With regard to parking, each dwelling has an additional two car parking spaces, in addition plots 4-7 have further sufficient space for two more vehicles. The parking provision exceeds SODC parking standards, is appropriate for the site and ensured there would be no on street parking.
Plot 1 has been moved away from the boundary, set further into the site and re-orientated. The car port has also been removed to avoid massing. The render has been changed to brick and slate tiles replaced with clay.
The wall adjacent to plot 5 has been replaced by hedging and the slate roofs replaced with more suitable tiles. The verge at the front of the site has been preserved.
Plots 2-4 have been moved to increase garden size and the density of the site would be less than that set out in policy CH2.
The Thame Neighbourhood Plan (TNP) explicitly allows for sites to come forward in Moreton and is seen as a sustainable location for development. H5 of the TNP set no restriction on the size of the plot or the number of dwellings and is the most recent up to date policy to be considered.
With regard to the Conservation Area the proposal will preserve and enhance the appearance of the area with open views through the site, the open aspect, dwellings set back into the site and the retention of the verge and reinforced hedging to the front of the site.
The positive engagement with the community has led to a bespoke scheme which fits comfortably on the site and complements other dwellings in the village
The Committee then discussed and agreed a recommendation on planning application P18/S2260/FUL.
Caroline Owen of Permission Homes spoke for planning application P18/S2069/FUL. With regard to the housing mix, the Town Council’s report addresses some confusion regarding the number of bedrooms proposed. The proposal represents the way Permission market their homes. There are a number of rooms within the houses that have studies, whether these are counted as bedrooms depends on the size of the dwelling.
The application proposes a change of mix to improve the scheme replacing eight approved dwellings with 25 smaller dwellings. The reason for this is the sales on the earlier phases of the scheme have shown a greater demand for smaller two and three bed dwellings and less demand for larger detached houses. The Council do not have a specific policy for housing mix and therefore Permission have taken input from a range of documents; the District 2008 Housing Needs Assessment, the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment, the 2011 census and informal advice from the District’s Housing Team.
With regard to density the TNP set out a clear number of 175 dwellings for the site. The proposal would result in 46 dwellings per ha but when considered in the context of the whole site the density equates to 22.5 per ha. There is an argument that since the adoption of the TNP in 2013 housing policy nationally and locally has evolved. The emerging Local Plan proposes an increase in housing in the district, identifying Thame as one of the market towns to take more growth.
The Committee then discussed and agreed a recommendation on planning application P8/S2069/FUL.
5 P18/S2260/FUL – Land to the north of Moreton Road
Erection of seven dwellings together with associated works.
After discussion Members agreed the proposal was contrary to policies within the Thame Neighbourhood Plan and District Core Strategy policies as set out in the Officer’s report.
i) Planning application P18/S2260/FUL be recommended for refusal as it was contrary to policies in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan and District Core Strategy and the adverse impact on the Conservation Area all as set out in the Officer’s report.
6 P18/S2069/FUL – Land off Thame Park Road
Construction of 25 residential dwellings and associated private open space.
After a short discussion Cllr Dyer stated the referral to recommendations in the TNP was not correct. The TNP set out policies not aspirations. There was agreement that the housing market had changed since the adoption of the TNP, however, these changes could only be addressed through a revised TNP. The proposed housing numbers for Thame had not yet been determined through the Local Plan which had yet to be submitted for examination. Finally the TNP clearly set out the number of houses on the site which the developer was aware of when they acquired the land and the original planning permission granted.
i) Planning application P18/S2069/FUL be recommended for refusal as it was contrary to the policies and principles of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan all as set out in the Officer’s report.
7 P18/S1243/FUL – DAF Trucks Ltd, Eastern Bypass
Erection of a 68 bed care home and associated vehicular parking, landscaping, ancillary infrastructure and other works.
Amendment No 2 – Amended plans and additional information received 3 July 2018
Amendment No 3 – Employment issues document received 14 June 2018
Some discussion ensued after which it was agreed the Town Council would continue to respond to correspondence and information provided by the developer.
i) The Town Council would continue to respond to the assertions and statements from the applicant’s agent.
8 Report from County Councillor N Carter
Cllr Carter was not present – no report received.
9 Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors
Cllr Champken-Woods had circulated the latest SODC newsletter to Members. He drew attention to fact that some Town and Parish Councils did not send representatives to District Planning Committee meetings to put forward the case for their recommendation. This was not aimed at the Town Council who were very good at attending Committee meetings.
Cllr Fickling raised the point that the notification of what was being discussed at District Planning Committees was often sent fairly close to the meeting taking place and may account for why some Parish Councils found it difficult to send a representative.
10 Members Questions (under Standing Order 11)
No questions were raised.
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 June 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
12 Policy & Resources Committee
The minutes of the meetings held on 8 May 2018 and 17 July 2018 were noted.
13 Community, Leisure & Recreation
The minutes of the meetings held on 8 May 2018 and 10 July 2018 were noted.
14 Planning & Environment Committee
The minutes of the meetings held on 3 July 2018 and 24 July 2018 were noted.
15 Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee
The minutes of the meeting held on 3 July 2018 were noted.
16 Midsomer Plaques
Further to the email to all Councillors on 8 January 2018 and the subsequent reporting at the Planning & Environment Committee on 30 January 2018 that planning application P17/S1978/LB – “Various Listed Buildings, Thame Town Centre – Production and installation of commemorative plaques denoting the use of 12 listed buildings in Thame as filming locations for the Midsomer Murders ITV series” had been withdrawn.
The Town Clerk reported that a new planning application for 6 plaques had been submitted but not yet registered by the District. As soon as the application had been registered the Town Council will ask District Cllr Dodds to call in the application to enable it to be discussed at a District Planning Committee, in the event of a recommendation of refusal from the planning officer.
17 Thame Barns Centre
Members received the Annual Report and Accounts as presented to and approved at the Barns Centre AGM on 19 July 2018. Thanks were expressed to Karen Clark and Patsy Baker for all their hard work.
18 Thame Town Music Festival
Cllr Midwinter expressed thanks on behalf of the Town Council to Johnnie Littler and his team for another superb (and expanded) Thame Town Music Festival, held in the sunshine on Friday 13 & Saturday 14 July 2018.
i) A formal letter of thanks would be sent to Johnnie Littler.
19 Christmas Lights Competition
Members noted that the Town Council had reached the final 12 of the national Blachere / Revive & Thrive Christmas Lights competition, selected along with Farnborough, Halifax, Kidsgrove, Lancaster, Ormskirk, Pontardawe, Portishead, St Helens, Sunderland, Salisbury and Putney.
Following the subsequent submission of a video featuring Councillors, Officers and images of previous events Thame had come 3rd in the deciding competition, only just behind Ormskirk and Farnborough, which focussed on the attractiveness of the Christmas Lights event to the community.
The video responded to the fundamental question “A family is faced with three places all with clashing switch-on events. Your place is one of them. What’s so good about your place and why should they choose you?”
Cllr Midwinter expressed her thanks to the Councillors and staff involved in the production of the video. The Town Council had received £1,000 prize money which would be spent on Christmas lighting for this year.
The meeting concluded at 7.42pm
Chairman, 13 November 2018