09 August 2016 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 9 August 2016 at 7.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin (Chairman), D Bretherton (Deputy Chairman), P Cowell, D Dodds, M Dyer, L Emery (Town Mayor), H Fickling, P Lambert, A Midwinter and M Stiles.
G Hunt, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dixon (Holiday).
2. Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest.
3. Public Participation & Public Questions
There were no applications to address the Council.
There were no questions put to the Council.
The minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5. Working Groups
a) Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group
Cllr Bretherton had visited the show homes on Site F. Bloor Homes had indicated that they would be on site for at least the next three years. The last four weeks had been dominated by the SODC Local Plan Preferred Options consultation which had limited progress work on Neighbourhood Plan Continuity. The s106 funding for Chinnor Rugby Football Club had been formally allocated by SODC.
The Town Clerk reported that one of main messages from the Public Meeting held on 4 August 2016 was that infrastructure must come before any new additional housing. It may be that the IDPWG would have to broaden their terms of reference to influence other local District and County Councils on wider infrastructure provision.
b) The Green Living Plan Working Group
The notes of the first meeting of the GLPWG had been circulated. Cllr Fickling reported that John Scott had started work on an initial energy strategy and 21st Century Thame had reinvigorated their environmental group.
c) The Town Centre Working Group
The Car Parking Survey Report had been circulated. Cllr Emery reported that 16 surveys had been done taking over 40 hours to complete. The conclusion was that there is currently adequate spare capacity in specific car parks and there were actions in the report to utilise spare capacity, improve signage, the possible addition of new bays and the enforcement of parking regulations, all of which would supplement the existing car parking capacity.
The Town Clerk reported that the actions and next steps highlighted in the report would be followed up by the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer, the Market Town Co-ordinator (when recruited) and the newly formed Transport Plan Working Group.
The Chairman thanked Cllr Emery for all her hard work in producing such an in-depth report and it was reassuring that the results confirmed those of the Vibrancy and Vitality Study regarding signage and capacity.
d) The Transport Plan Working Group
The Town Clerk reported, as previously mentioned, due to the focus on the SODC Local Plan Consultation over the last four weeks there had been little time to move forward with the newly formed Working Groups. The TPWG was waiting for the Co-Ordination Working Group to meet before holding the first meeting. A provisional chairman, Cllr Cowell, was in place. The partnership working with Thames Valley Police had highlighted a couple of issues with residents and businesses who have used the lack of enforcement up until now to park outside their homes and businesses. One of the residents had offered to be involved with the working group to assist. A letter to the County Council from a resident regarding traffic improvements in Nelson Street and the surrounding area had been circulated and the RSA had done some work on a Thame Travel Plan.
e) The Community Facilities Working Group
Again due to time constraints the Working Group has not yet met. It had been suggested that Cllr Dixon Chair the group with Cllr Champken-Woods as Deputy. Helena Richards from the Cattle Market Action Group has also been informed and CMAG will be included.
f) The Burial Space Working Group
The BSWG had met informally on 19 July 2016 and agreed that Taylor Wimpey / CEG be asked to proceed with the planning application for a cemetery to be built to the rear of Site C. Time limits in relation to the project would dictate how quickly this would happen.
It was agreed that the Priest End allotments site should move forward for burial space and that discussions take place with the church to determine where the first burials take place. The expectation was that funding would not be available for the archeological survey to be done as a whole but in a phased approach.
The Town Clerk would draft the terms of reference for the working group.
g) The NPCC Co-Ordination Working Group
The date for the first meeting the Working Group had been set for Wednesday 24 August. The Working Group will include the Chairmen of all the NPCC Working Groups, the Chairman of the NPCC Committee and the Town Clerk. It was hoped the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer would also be able to attend.
6. South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2032
The Local Plan Consultation Team (LPCT) had met several times to formulate a response to the SODC Local Plan Consultation and a strategy to inform residents of the consultation, gather their comments and encourage individual response to the Consultation.
A Public Meeting was held on 4 August 2016 which was extremely well attended with standing room only in St Mary’s church. The presentation put together by Cllrs Austin, Bretherton, Dyer and Fickling was well received. The presentation was followed by an opportunity to receive comments by the audience which became more a question and answer session. The meeting was attended by John Howell MP, the Chief Planning Officer from SODC, representatives from Aylesbury District Council and Haddenham Parish Council.
There was not time to obtain total feedback with written comments at the end of the meeting but what was received was interesting and had led to the first draft response issued by the Town Clerk this afternoon. Councillors should respond with comments on the draft response via email to the Town Clerk by Tuesday 16 August.
It was proposed that the draft response would be posted onto the Town Council’s website alongside the presentation given at the Public Meeting for residents to use, if they wished, to formulate their own response to the consultation.
i) The Town Council’s draft response to the SODC Local Plan Preferred Options Consultation be posted onto the Town Council’s website alongside the presentation given at the Public Meeting to help residents in formulating their own response.
7. Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan
Cllr Dyer had attended the Public Meeting held in Haddenham to consider their response to Aylesbury Vale District Council’s Local Plan consultation. Like the meeting held in Thame it was very well attended and run along similar lines.
The intention to build thousands of new homes in Haddenham with a reliance on Thame’s infrastructure would have a great impact on Thame. It was clear that little discussion had taken place between Aylesbury District Council and SODC. It was important that Haddenham and Thame worked closely together in their responses to both Local Plans.
8. Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
It was noted that Mr Graeme Markland would commence work with the Town Council on Monday 15 August 2016. Initially on a two day a week basis moving to full time once he had worked out the notice period with his previous employer.
9. Market Town Co-ordinator
The recruitment process for the Market Town Co-Ordinator was underway with an application deadline of 12 September 2016. The recruitment panel would include a member of the SODC Economic Development Team.
10. Neighbourhood Plan Update Newsletter
Members noted that as yet, other priorities had prevented formal commencement of the Update Newsletter. It was intended that the Town Clerk would progress this as part of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer’s functional induction.
11. Affordable Housing
Cllr Austin introduced Part 2 of the Report on Affordable Housing together with a spreadsheet providing the information as previously agreed. The spreadsheet remained incomplete as SODC were waiting on information from developers on the mix of affordable housing and the Registered Social Landlord for Site D.
It was felt that the Town Council’s role should lie in positive reinforcement of a) the progressive availability of affordable housing in both social rented and share ownership, b) an emphasis on both categories in an effort to preserve local connections and c) encourage residents to register with SODC.
The draft SODC Local Plan to 2032 called for affordable housing to be split 50-50 between social rented and shared ownership which would result in a decline in the actual number of affordable homes available to the people of Thame. The Town Council needed to specify the needs of the town as opposed to it being driven by the developers and SODC.
It was agreed that Cllr Bretherton, in his capacity as IDPWG Chair, would investigate how SODC is allocating the considerable pot of s106 affordable housing contributions related specifically to Thame.
i) The Town Council publicises the SODC contact details and local preference policy through its website, social media and poster campaign.
i) The Town Council campaigns for a minimum local percentage to apply to shared ownership / intermediate housing.
12. SODC Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment
It was noted that the 2016 update to the Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment, commissioned by SODC, had now been published on the SODC website on the Evidence Studies page within Planning Policy.
The next steps would be to compare the report with that produced by Carter Jonas to ensure action was taken where the two reports were significantly different in their findings.
The meeting concluded at 8.21pm
Chairman, 27 September 2016