14 June 2022 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 14 June 2022 at 7:00pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton (Deputy Chairman), P Cowell (Town Mayor), A Dite (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer, L Emery, H Fickling, C Jones (Chairman), H Richards


Cllr A Gilbert


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


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Champken-Woods (personal) and Midwinter (personal).


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 meetings held on 3 May 2022 and 10 May 2022 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 Town Council had recently approved to fund the outstanding S106 balance (£88,000) on the Cricket Clubhouse Redevelopment through its Community Infrastructure Levy funding, as South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) advised against retrospective S106 claims. Cllr Bretherton asked the committee to now approve the reallocation of this £88,000 of S106 funding within the Sports Strategy from the Cricket Clubhouse Redevelopment to the changing rooms at Southern Road Recreation Ground.


  1. The reallocation of S106 (£88,000) from the Cricket Clubhouse Redevelopment project to the changing rooms at Southern Road Recreation Ground be approved.

 c) Green Living Plan Working Group (GLPWG)

There was not a formal report of the latest Thame Green Living meeting, however Cllr Richards had attended and advised that the upcoming public meeting in July, to increase community engagement, had been postponed. This was due to it coinciding with the summer holidays and a low turnout at the recent Solar Projects meeting. Community engagement continues to be encouraged through social media and the public meeting was being rearranged.

d) Town Centre Working Group (TCWG)

Cllr Emery entered the meeting during this item.

The report was noted. The Taste of Thame event had been a huge success, however it was noted that additional capacity would be required, either internally or by volunteers, to enable the event to happen again. The volunteer fair continues to attract a steady number of new volunteers and it was noted that the Market Town Co-Ordinator was actively seeking volunteers to help with the distribution of flyers in Thame and surrounding villages.

e) Transport Plan Working Group (TPWG)

Cllr Richards advised that the TPWG was considering changing its name to the Travel Working Group, so it reflected a wider range of active travel modes. A resident had requested a meeting with Cllr Richards and the County Councillors regarding cycling provision and what could be done to address this. One option to enable safer cycling would be a one-way system in Thame, Cllr Richards asked whether this could be included in the draft Thame Neighbourhood Plan 2 (TNP2) so the public could give their opinion and to avoid a second consultation? The Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO) advised that this could be included as an aspirational project within the emerging draft TNP2 which, if supported, would enable the Town Council to put funding towards it and use it to lobby the relevant authorities. It was noted that the Town Council has limited remit regarding highways matters, but the aim would be to holistically manage what it could.

There was some concern that the TPWG may become too focused on cycling, without taking a holistic approach of all travel methods. Cllr Richards advised that changing the name to Travel Working Group was to ensure it was more inclusive and agreed that Thame needed an integrated plan in line with the Green Living Plan and County Council plans. It was noted that the Town Council must not expend resources on highways matters which it has no powers to manage. The County Council’s transport focus was currently on the city centre, however transport plans were in the pipeline for Oxfordshire towns.

With regards to the Haddenham-Thame Greenway, Cllr Richards had been pushing this with the relevant authorities. It was reported that an options study, funded through S106, would be taking place shortly and it was hoped that the Town Council would be consulted.

f) Burial Space Working Group (BSWG)

Cllr Fickling advised that the repair work to the wall at the newer burial space at St Mary’s Church was now complete and had been funded through S106.


6 Reports from Town Council Representatives

  1. Transport Representative – Cllr Bretherton advised that the 121 Bus Service was not being well used, and if this was a reflection of the need for a hopper bus then a future hopper bus was unlikely to happen, although it was recognised that the 121 Bus route and timetable could be improved. As discussed at the previous committee meeting, it was agreed that further publicity of the bus service, using both online and offline methods, was required which the Town Clerk agreed to action.


7 South Oxfordshire District Local Plan

The District Council were currently consulting on the visions and objectives for their next Local Plan, as well as wider issues within the district. This is a high level consultation however it will set the direction of the Local Plan, so it is important that the Town Council responds. The NPCO is collating comments made by Councillors and Officers, which will be received by Full Council next week.


8 Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision (TNP2)

Members had seen and commented on the draft TNP2, and it was intended that this, the plan’s timetable and the SEA work, would be presented by Troy Planning to Full Council next week.

The NPCO reported that the Employment Technical Support was not underway as had been assumed following the submission of the scoping report by Aecom in mid-May. The Town Council had been advised at the time not to submit an Expression of Interest form for this work, however Locality have now admitted this was an error which has resulted in a delay of several weeks. The NPCO has expressed the Town Council’s frustration at this and will be checking progress on the work. The NPCO advised that he was around 60% through establishing employment gains and losses in the current plan period.

The Design Technical Support was progressing well with site visits undertaken and meetings being arranged with site promoters, which would include the Town and District Councils with regards to the Cattle Market.

It was noted that there had been a call for photographs of town events to include in TNP2 and suggested that local photographer James Tipping may be able to assist.


9 Future Oxfordshire Partnership / Oxfordshire Plan 2050

The NPCO advised that this item would now be reported on via a written report rather than verbal, given that the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and Oxfordshire Plan 2050 had evolved considerably since they began being reported on at this committee, with both organisations now much more active and multifaceted. The NPCO hoped to have a written report available for the next committee meeting.


10 Affordable Housing / Community Land Trust (CLT)

Cllr Austin advised that the technical design phase was nearly finished, a board meeting was scheduled for next month and the Heads of Terms for the Housing Association had been drafted. Five months after the granting of planning permission, the S106 agreement had arrived however it required an amendment. The grant application and accompanying financial justification has been submitted to SODC, whilst there were no certainties on timeframe or likely success, it was noted that Henley had recently and successfully applied for considerably more than Thame CLT is claiming for which was promising. The target house price for Thame’s CLT homes was £250,000 for a three-bed and £210,000 for a two-bed which would achieve the CLT’s original commitment of being 40% below the market rate. The homes would offer a distinct improvement from what is available through First Homes.

A question was raised as to whether the access issue on Windmill Road had been resolved? There had been positive discussions with Oxfordshire County Council and there were various solutions available depending on the outcome. It was noted that access to Stones Close Allotments would not be affected by this.

Members thanked Cllr Austin for all his efforts on this project.


The meeting concluded at 7:44pm.


Signed ………………………
Chairman, 26 July 2022