02 May 2023 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 2 May 2023 at 7:35pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


Cllrs B Austin, A Dite (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer, L Emery, H Fickling, C Jones (Chairman), A Midwinter, H Richards


M Sturdy, Town Clerk
G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO)
L Fuller, Committee Services Officer


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Champken-Woods (personal) and Cowell (personal). Cllr Bretherton was absent without apology.

2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest.


3 Public Participation and Public Questions

There was no public participation.
There were no public questions put to the Committee.


4 Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2023 were approved, and signed by the Chairman.


5 Working Groups

a) NPCC Co-Ordination Working Group (NPCCCWG)

There was nothing to report.

b) Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group (IDPWG)

The NPCO reported that the Government consultation on the Infrastructure Levy closes on 9 June. Various options are proposed, which the NPCO would summarise and circulate. Members were asked to send comments by e-mail, and the Council’s response would be noted at the next committee meeting.

c) Green Living Plan Working Group (GLPWG)

There was nothing to report.

d) Travel Plan Working Group (TPWG)

TPWG continue to progress the Hopper Bus project, building on Cllr Austin’s earlier work. Conversations are underway with other community bus projects, Community First Oxfordshire, and councils to obtain operational models. The bus will need to be run by volunteers, and social media campaigns have begun to recruit potential volunteers. The 121 service is due to end in August. In light of this, Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) officers made an interesting proposal to the TPWG, to use S106 monies connected to the Bellway estate in Thame, and a new estate in Haddenham, to provide a service connecting the two locations and follow a similar route to the 121, which could be joint funded by OCC and Buckinghamshire Council. A volunteer for TPWG is mapping bus routes that service Thame and identifying existing and potential gaps.

Cllr Austin expressed concerns about TPWG discussing areas outside of Thame, and that S106 funding held by OCC would start expiring in a few years. Research has shown that 60% of short-term journeys are by foot in Thame, which may be a challenge for the TPWG. It is important that a comprehensive solution is developed that uses all the money for the benefit of Thame, which may require a consultant.

Could the existing Community Bus be given additional funding to expand, or the Meadowcroft Bus used? TPWG were scoping and investigating various options at this stage.

Cllr Richards advised the TPWG are doing what they can to progress the project and would provide updates once OCC officers had discussed the joint S106 idea with Buckinghamshire Council.

OCC informed the TPWG that Thame is near the top of the list to get a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). TPWG are proactively seeking information from residents, particularly ‘wheelers’, to understand needs and challenges, and will be using a mapping system to plot these. It’s important the whole community is involved, and Councillors were asked to help raise awareness of this. Abingdon has an LCWIP, which had huge community input, and as a result has identified projects for when funding becomes available.

e) Burial Space Working Group (BSWG)

There was nothing to report.

f) Public Arts Working Group (PAWG)

The report was noted.

The committee had previously approved for the new public art bench to be installed at The Moats, however following consultation feedback, three alternative locations are now proposed at North Street, Queen Elizabeth Circle play area or Churchill Crescent play area. It was felt the North Street location was least likely to generate resident concerns. There is already a bench in this location, however it could be replaced or kept in situ as part of the proposals.

The Town Clerk noted the request for a bench at the Doctors Surgery, for future projects.


  1. The Cattle Market (North Street) location be approved as the alternative location for the public art bench, subject to relevant permissions and consultation processes being received / completed.


6 Reports from Town Council Representatives

  1. Transport Representative – In Cllr Bretherton’s absence, there was nothing to report.


7 South Oxfordshire District Local Plan

There was nothing to report.


8 Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision (TNP2)

Internal informal meetings had been held during April to discuss the draft TNP2, with identified changes being made. The intention was to bring the draft TNP2 to Council on 25 April 2023 for approval, however the Town Council received advice from the District Council in a relation to the boundary treatment on one of the proposed sites. After discussion with Troy Planning and the Sustainability Appraisal Consultant, it was agreed to take the plan to the May Full Council meeting, meaning the public consultation would begin in early June.

Are there any plans for training new Councillors on TNP2? The NPCO advised he could run online sessions, so they are able to make an informed decision on TNP2.


9 Affordable Housing / Community Land Trust (CLT)

The S106 Agreement had been finalised subject to receiving the commuted sum for the public open space. The local connection causes had finally been agreed by the Affordable Housing team. Easements on accessing land have now been finalised with landowners and Sustrans. Satisfactory solutions have been proposed to address engineering problems relating to surface treatment and phased highways construction. It is important the current track remains open during construction works, which was just awaiting SOHA approval of a methodology but there are positive indications this will be confirmed shortly. Thame CLT is now a charity and will receive exempt charity status from HMRC, meaning they won’t be subject to land or corporation taxes. The project had been a rollercoaster with two steps forward, one step back.

When would the project break the first sod? In line with the latest timetable from the District Council, the ambition is to break ground in late autumn. Construction is expected to take 15 months.

Had builders been chosen? Yes, 4 builders had been selected through the tender process. The aim is to build as close to PassivHaus standards as possible.

As Cllr Austin is retiring as a Councillor, he advised that he would continue to provide updates to the committee as and when they are available. The committee thanked Cllr Austin for all his work and gave him a round of applause.


The meeting concluded at 8:14pm.


Signed ………………………

Chairman, 20 June 2023