03 July 2018 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 3 July 2018 at 7.32pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin (Chairman), D Bretherton (Deputy Chairman), P Cowell, D Dodds, M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling, C Jones, A Midwinter (Town Mayor) and M Stiles
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 Lambert (Business).
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.
The minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5. Working Groups
To receive a verbal update from the chairmen of:
a) NPCC Co-Ordination Working Group – nothing further to report.
b) The Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group (IDPWG) – reported under item 11 of the agenda.
c) The Green Living Plan Working Group
Cllr Fickling reported that following a public presentation of the Green Living Plan (GLP) by the RSA Thame group the draft GLP had been approved to go out to public consultation by the Town Council.
The Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO) reported that plans for the consultation were progressing well. A member of the SODC Communication Development Team had been in contact to offer help with the wording of the questionnaire, this had been gratefully accepted.
The dates and times for drop in sessions to be held at the Town Hall had been finalised along with the booking of the Community Market Stall on 21 August 2018. The NPCO was preparing a consultation plan to identify who was doing what. Officers were providing guidance around Data Protection to ensure compliance with new legislation.
d) The Town Centre Working Group
Cllr Fickling encouraged everyone to read the report and to businesses to subscribe to the business newsletter. Details on how to subscribe could be found on the Town Council’s website. The MTCO had done a lot of engagement work with town centre businesses.
Cllr Emery reported that the Working Group continued to be very active, currently undertaking parking surveys to map current pressures on parking and to compare these against the parking surveys carried out last year.
e) Transport Plan Working Group
The Town Clerk reported he had responded to another request for 20 mph speed limits. The Town Clerk had attended a meeting with OCC and Chinnor Parish Council to discuss the possible use of school transport outside of the hours need to take pupils to and from school. He had taken the opportunity to push for a hopper bus for Thame.
f) Community Facilities Working Group
The Town Clerk reported that he had received a holding response from SODC to his request for a meeting on the future of the Cattle Market Site. SODC had re-engaged consultants Cushman and Wakefield and would be in touch once they have had a chance to review the site.
The Town Clerk also reported that Cllr Austin had completed the analysis work on the data provided by LEAP which he now needed to reconcile.
The Town Clerk had shared via email a further update from CMAG on their research into community centres in nearby towns of a similar size to Thame, which had led to useful comparison discussions.
g) Burial Space Working Group
Nexus had asked if there was still a need for the new burial space on site C. The Town Clerk had replied confirming there was and asked again why the planning application for a fit for purpose burial site had not been prepared.
It was also reported that the first burial was imminent in the extended St Mary’s churchyard.
6. South Oxfordshire District Local Plan
The NPCO reported SODC had made a request to the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to consider a further delay in the submission of the Local Plan to early 2020 and was awaiting a response.
The Oxfordshire Growth Board have suggested in an open letter to SODC that the District concentrate on sites with a sustainable location, are viable and able to pass examination and importantly to go for an option that would not jeopardise the Growth Deal.
Cambridge & Peterborough local authority had recently been told by the Secretary of State to get on with their draft Local Plan, it could be that SODC might receive similar instructions.
7. Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision
Members noted that the Local Plan Consultation Team (LPCT) had met on 12 June 2018, to discuss next steps with regard to the Local Plan and Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision. There was a wide ranging discussion – with outcomes likely to lead to a full SWOT analysis, and identification of particular “Opportunities” to progress. This was likely to include an audit of current evidence base and identification of an over-arching consultancy to assist. The need for an up to date Housing Needs Analysis had been chased again.
8. Oxfordshire Growth Board
It was noted that the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer was preparing a response (in conjunction with the Local Plan Consultation Team and other Neighbourhood Planning Groups) to the Oxfordshire Growth Board consultation on a proposal to provide Oxfordshire councils with greater protection from speculative housing development, by the deadline of 12 July 2018.
The NPCO reported that in relation to the next item on the agenda, the Oxford to Cambridge expressway, it had been noted in a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport that the Joint Statutory Spatial Plan (JSSP), and the body within Oxfordshire that would write it, did not yet have terms of reference. This means that the Oxfordshire parishes and towns are being asked to support the terms laid down in the Oxfordshire Growth Deal, ahead of any knowledge of the remit or scope of the JSSP.
9. Oxford – Cambridge Expressway
The NPCO had prepared the text of a letter (shared on 29 June 2018) to the Secretary of State for Transport as suggested in the recent meeting with the Chairman of the Expressway Action Group.
The NPCO highlighted a critical point, the Expressway was a nationally significant infrastructure project which was a relatively new way of working, and outside of the normal examination process with no provision for a public enquiry. The project to deliver a linear corridor for the Expressway also took into account potential growth along the corridor, and so in effect would become a regional plan. This was important as all Local Plans would hang off it but would be constrained by the choice of corridor and route, in effect pre-judging allocations, outside of the normal sustainability appraisal process.
i) The text be approved and the letter sent to the Secretary of State.
10. Affordable Housing / Community Land Trust
It was noted that following receipt of an extremely positive Stage 1 Scoping report from the National CLT’s Technical Adviser, the Thame CLT was now able to proceed to Stage 2, a one day ‘Visioning’ Workshop to firm up on the objectives of the CLT. Summer holiday commitments had delayed the workshop planned for the end of July, new dates would be explored for September / October.
Cllr Austin reported a letter had been received from CALA Homes requesting to meet to discuss possible sites for a Community Land Trust. Cllr Austin had replied explaining any final decision would have to wait until after the formation of the Thame Community Land Trust, that other potential sites would also be explored, but that an interim exploratory meeting could be arranged.
11. Infrastructure Delivery Plan / Capital Project List
Cllr Bretherton reported the Infrastructure Delivery Plan / Capital Project List had not been officially received since 14 March 2017, since when a number of changes have been suggested. Some minor amendments / updates have also been made to the s106 Sports Funding Allocation list.
Chinnor Rugby Club had requested that s106 funding allocated to the refurbishment of the changing rooms be reallocated to provide additional external lighting for pitches to extend the time they could be used. However, getting more detailed information from the Rugby Club was proving difficult.
The Town Clerk added that a separate planning application for a covered stand had been registered at the District Council which would be considered by the Planning & Environment Committee on 24 July. The new stand was to fulfil one of the requirements of the First Team’s promotion to the National League.
i) The revised top level Infrastructure Delivery Plan / Capital Project List be approved.
ii) The revised Infrastructure Delivery Plan / s106 Sports Funding Allocation list be approved (subject to further SODC procedure) and subject to change as, (a) additional / lesser funds are established, and (b) relevant payment triggers are defined / refined).
12. Other items to note
The Town Clerk stressed that all the items were important and urged Members to read all the information shared in item 12 of the agenda. He is happy to answer any questions, outside of the meeting if necessary.
The meeting concluded at 7.55pm
Chairman, 14 August 2018