02 July 2019 – Minutes (Draft)


Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 2 July 2019 at 7:09pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin, P Cowell (Deputy Mayor), M Deacock, M Dyer (Deputy Chairman), L Emery, H Fickling, C Jones (Chairman), A Midwinter (Town Mayor) and J Tipping


G Hunt, Town Clerk

G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer

L Fuller, Community Project Officer

1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from D Bretherton (SODC) and S Francis (Personal).

2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest.

3 Public Participation & Public Questions

There were no applications to address the Committee.

There were no public questions put to the Committee.

4 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5 Working Groups

To receive a verbal update from the chairmen of:

a)    NPCC Co-Ordination Working Group

Cllr Jones reported on the successful meetings of the NPCCCWG on 31 May 2019 and 11 June 2019.

Members noted the written update, which is now in the dropbox.

b)    The Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group

The Town Clerk provided a number of updates.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL): The Town Clerk had been in more discussion with Moreton Residents Association on their various projects. The Town Clerk restated the current position that we will keep all of Moreton’s projects on our list and will decide where the CIL money is spent across all of the Town Council’s 70+ Capital Projects list. There had been another appeal on the Clerks’ forum for guidance on how to allocate CIL monies. The Town Clerk reported that the IDPWG had done some work on this, but that it was inconclusive. There doesn’t seem to be anyone who has been able to work the process out. The Town Clerk was hoping that NALC guidance would help us, but after appealing to the NALC Planning Team at a recent meeting, the advice is limited to “create a project list” which we already have. The Town Council will need to decide how to fairly spread the CIL money across its capital projects list.

S106: The NPCO and Town Clerk had attended a useful and positive meeting on 20 June 2019 to discuss Thame’s S106 allocations with the new permanent S106 Officer at SODC, Silke More-O’Ferrall, and her manager. Silke is responsible for ensuring both financial and non-financial matters, such as permissive paths and allotments, within S106 are addressed.

At the meeting, the Town Clerk went through the various S106 monies that are allocated for Thame, and which projects the Town Council had planned to spend this on. The S106 Officers were pleased to hear that Thame has a plan for its S106 allocations. The Town Clerk was now more hopeful that the Town Council would receive the £5,500 allocated to the Community Facilities work with LEAP. SODC should be chasing Persimmon regarding the third payment that is due. This would release the forward spent cricket pavilion funding and other sports funding.

Also at the meeting on 20 June, SODC were updated with the latest Rugby Club position, with regard to their proposals for a borehole. The Rugby Club have also received their S106 funds for lighting improvements and thanked the Town Council. The latest situation with Thame Sports Club was also discussed, as SODC hadn’t given the full allocation which this committee approved. The Town Clerk is investigating this, and SODC will too. The Leisure Team were due to attend the meeting but were unable to however they do have the latest allocations of S106 monies by the IDPWG.

The £300,000 for the Elms Park improvement is in jeopardy as Rectory Homes do not have to provide any S106 money for anything offsite. The SODC Appeals Officer clarified that Rectory Homes must define proposals for improvements but they do not have to fund them, however the policy states that the Elms Park improvements must be developed in parallel with the proposed care home, should the current appeal be successful. The Town Clerk believes that the only way this can happen is if the Town Council is given money to implement the Elms Park improvements. The Town Council has had to give in with regards to non-site specific projects to the sum of £140,000 which includes green space, sports facilities, burial provision and health, as S106 can now only be applied for affordable housing and on-site projects. The Town Clerk has drafted and sent a Deed for £525,000 to Rectory Homes to consider, with the hope that they will keep their word in honouring the Elms Park improvements and ongoing S106 Agreement.

The Town Clerk and NPCO reported that they are meeting with Silke and Amanda Rendell, Planning Officer, tomorrow to visit Sites C, D and F in Thame to show what has been implemented to date and outstanding issues.

Cllr Fickling asked whether the paths behind Site F were the responsibility of SODC? The Town Clerk explained that the paths would be implemented on a phased approach, however the Town Clerk was not aware of an agreed specification between the developer and SODC as to timescales. The Town Clerk will follow up on this tomorrow at the meeting with SODC.

c)    The Green Living Plan Working Group

Cllr Fickling reported that an Open Forum will be held on Wednesday 10 July 2019 with workshops focused on Alternative Energy and Clean Air. Cllr Fickling has been in discussion with Charles Boundy of the Thame Green Living group on progressing the Environmental Policy for the Town Council and hoped that this would be discussed at the Climate Meeting on Tuesday 9 July.

The Town Clerk advised that the detail of the Environmental Policy would not be discussed at the Climate Meeting, but guidance will be provided in advance of the meeting to aid discussion on a variety of points.

The NPCO added that the Thame Green Living group had attended Thame Carnival on 15 June 2019 by partaking in the Town Council’s float and also by having a stall at the fete that followed. This had been successful and the group has gained some new members. The Open Forum next week will be part of the strategy document which the group are working towards.

d)    The Town Centre Working Group

The Market Town Co-ordinator’s (MTCO) report was noted.

Cllr Jones encouraged Members to help the MTCO in the delivery of the new Town Guides to businesses, and congratulated the MTCO and Community Project Officer in producing a neat, clear and super guide.

e)    Transport Plan Working Group

The Town Clerk provided a number of updates.

Parking: The Town Clerk was continues to respond to numerous parking queries, most focused on long-stay parking issues. The latest suggestion to allocate part of the car behind the Co-Op for long-term / all-day parking was deemed too complicated by SODC. The waiting list for the Cattlemarket car park is currently 18 months. However a small success was reported as the MTCO had found a business, whilst delivering the Town Guides, on the High Street with 3 spare spaces.

Bus Shelters: The Town Clerk reported that installation was well underway for the three new bus shelters (two on Wenman Road, one on Oxford Road). It is hoped this will encourage further use of the plentiful 280 bus service.

HGV Parking / ESSO Station: The application involving the loss of HGV and coach parking at the ESSO station is currently subject to a holding objection by OCC and the Environment Agency due to the lack of information on associated flood risk.

Hopper Bus: The Town Clerk had circulated information to all Members as part of the weekly NALC bulletin about a ‘hail and ride’ bus service case study in Chigwell funded through S106. This was the closest example to the Town Council’s Hopper bus concept that the Town Clerk had seen and so he will be looking into this.

The Town Clerk also reported that he has a meeting on Friday with Cllr Nick Carter where he will be chasing an update on the proposal for a Thame-specific Transport Strategy.

f)     Community Facilities Working Group

The Town Clerk has nudged SODC for the £5,500 and informed the S106 Officer that the Town Council continues to await a meeting with the SODC’s Property Team about the Cattle Market site which was first requested 18 months ago.

g)    Burial Space Working Group

The Town Clerk reported that he had nudged this as part of the meeting at SODC on 20 June 2019. At the Sites meeting with SODC on 3 July 2019, the Town Clerk will visit the Site C burial space and will ensure that the Officers are fully briefed that we are still awaiting the draft planning application from Nexus.

6 South Oxfordshire District Local Plan

Members noted the NPCO’s report. A scrutiny meeting was being held at SODC on 2 July 2019 to discuss the four options for SODC’s Local Plan 2034 which is currently at the examination stage.

The NPCO summarized the four options, as outlined in his report, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Officers at SODC were recommending the committee to choose the lowest risk option, Option 1 – keep the draft plan unchanged and work with the Inspectors on any modifications. Option 2 would involve making a series of modifications to plan through the Examination process. Option 3 would be to withdraw the Plan and undertake another pre-submission Plan. Option 4, perceived by SODC Officers to be the highest risk, would be to withdraw the Plan and start again.

7 Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision

The report presented as part of Agenda Item 5a) had covered most points. The NPCO added that he will getting more meetings arranged to continue progress with the revision.

An arrangement similar to that with Sydenham Parish Council was currently being progressed with Tetsworth Parish Council.

8 Oxfordshire Growth Board / Oxfordshire Plan 2050

The minutes of the Oxfordshire Growth Board meetings on 30 May 2019 and 4 June 2019 were noted. Members also noted that the OGB Scrutiny and Board Meetings for 25 and 30 July respectively had been cancelled.

9 Affordable Housing / Community Land Trust (CLT)

Members noted the written update. Cllr Austin reported that the CLT group had written to the owners of the site of interest asking to meet. A Heads of Terms had been drafted to suggest the purchase of that site.

Cllr Jones asked how many homes could be built on this site? Cllr Austin stated that the plan was for 30-40 homes, dependent on how many single bedroom homes were built as there had been a need identified for this. Cllr Fickling asked whether the neighbours would object to the site? Cllr Austin said that the location of the site had not been made public and the group would respect the neighbours views when designing the site.

10 Other Items to Note

The items for information were noted.

The NPCO reported that the Oxfordshire Neighbourhood Plan Alliance Group (ONPAG) had met with the Oxfordshire Growth Board and another meeting was scheduled for August. The NPCO was hopeful that the ONPAG would be adopted as a non-political corporate group and not just a stakeholder for consultation, so they can work with the OGB and OCC and share their collective knowledge of Neighbourhood Plans.

The meeting concluded at 8.00pm


Signed …………………..

Chairman, 13 August 2019