21 May 2019 – Minutes (Draft)
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 21 May 2019 at 7pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, P Cowell (Deputy Mayor), M Deacock,
M Dyer (Deputy Chairman), L Emery, H Fickling, S Francis, C Jones (Chairman),
A Midwinter (Town Mayor) and J Tipping
Cllr K Gregory
G Hunt, Town Clerk
G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1. Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
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 meetings held on 12 March 2019 and 14 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 – there had been no requirement for the group to meet.
b) The Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group
The Town Clerk provided a number of updates.
Air Quality (AQ): South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) advised back in December that s106 money related to Air Quality had been spent. The Town Clerk had replied to ask where the money had been spent. Earlier this year SODC sent an email asking for ideas of how the money related to AQ could be spent. Cllr Champken-Woods reported at the Annual Town meeting in March that six new air quality monitoring points had been set up using s106 back in January 2019, none of which were located in the town centre. Cllr Champken-Woods asked for two monitoring points to be put in the town centre. Cllr Bretherton reported that in his new role as District Councillor he will, at the first opportunity be taking this up with Officers at SODC.
Rycote Meadow: The Asset Manager has been working on a Design Brief to open up Rycote Meadow to the public, funding for which will partially come from s106 money related to the Bloor development. The Design Brief will be reviewed professionally shortly.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL): CIL has been received from developments at Elm Tree Farm and Park Meadow. The Town Council has now received around £74,000 of CIL and will need to work on a method of allocating CIL to ensure it is spent on infrastructure projects in a sensible way.
Priest End: The Town Clerk has received provisional agreement from SODC that s106 monies for the redevelopment of the allotments at Priest End to burial space will be released. A confirmatory note in the minutes that the money has been forward spent is required to release the funds.
Public Art: The Town Clerk and Market Town Co-ordinator had a positive meeting with two SODC Officers to discuss s106 funding for a Public Art Wayfinding Strategy. Discussions were helped by an email from Bloor confirming they were happy with the proposal, and confirmation that this was primarily an art project.
c) The Green Living Plan Working Group
Cllr Fickling reported an off shoot of the Green Living Plan, Thame Green Living Project (TGL) has launched. There will be a number of working groups covering areas such as walking, cycling and biodiversity. Charles Boundy is also planning two further working groups for air quality and renewable energy.
The Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer reported the RSA group has been advised there is still funding for air quality diffusion tubes and have been invited to discuss where the tubes should be located. In preparation for a footpath meeting, a report by Charles Boundy has been circulated via email. A website for the TGL is being developed.
d) The Town Centre Working Group
The Market Town Co-ordinator’s (MTCO) report was noted.
Cllr Midwinter reported she had been very impressed by the new Town Signs being installed at the entrances to the town this week.
e) Transport Plan Working Group
The Town Clerk provided a number of updates.
A resident had reported the lack of dropped kerbs on route from Site F to the town centre, this will be followed up with Highways. Sydenham Parish Council had offered support in any action to be taken on the B4445 near Thame following recent accidents.
The loss of potential HGV parking at the former ESSO station was discussed at a Planning & Environment Committee meeting and the District Enforcement team have been informed of the loss of light goods vehicle parking on the site.
There is provision for additional bus shelters as detailed at the Policy & Resources Committee meeting. Further discussions re safety at the Kingsey Road roundabout had taken place.
The Town Clerk had met with County Councillor Carter, a number of items were discussed including a transport strategy for Thame. This could be partially funded by existing earmarked transport and neighbourhood plan related reserves. Cllr Carter agreed to explore other potential funding sources. The Town Clerk had started work on a draft parking strategy which, once adopted, will form part of the Transport Strategy.
f) Community Facilities Working Group
The Town Clerk reported the new Leader of SODC has stated in her report, a commitment to boost the market towns. It is therefore expected that SODC’s plans for the Cattle Market site will also involve ensuring the vibrancy of the town, as the heart of the local community.
g) Burial Space Working Group
The Town Clerk reported he had a very positive discussion with the Vicar of St Mary’s church, and although not interested in managing the site the church are happy to give support and guidance if the Town Council do take on the management.
At a meeting with GEC and Taylor Wimpey in April they reported the planning application for the burial site on Site C was ready to submit. The Town Clerk asked to see a copy of the plans before submission but has still not received anything.
6. South Oxfordshire District Local Plan
Members noted SODC had submitted their Plan for examination on 29 March 2019. Two Inspectors have been assigned by the Planning Inspectorate and a Programme Officer for the Examination who will act as an intermediary between the Inspector and those who has submitted a response.
An Examination webpage has been set up, with links to the library of documents that will be referred to during the examination. As a consultee the Town Council should be informed of details regarding the Examination and of any significant items of correspondence between the Inspectors and the District Council.
There has been a lot of speculation around the future of Local Plan since the election and the newly formed coalition at the District Council. The NPCO has calculated the District has a seven year land supply and there should be no cause for concern, in the immediate short term should the Plan be withdrawn.
Cllr Bretherton confirmed a lot of work was happening behind the scenes at SODC. In line with the six month rule on revoking a decision, nothing could be agreed until the end of June.
7. Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision
Members noted that the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO) had sent reminders to neighbouring parishes who had yet to respond to the invitation to share their concerns with Thame about land use planning matters. No further responses have been received. While Thame will naturally continue to be open to any future cross-border issues raised our ability to respond positively may be restricted by how far the review of the Neighbourhood Plan has progressed.
* Great Haseley Parish Council (GHPC) discussed the principle of supporting an extension of Thame’s Neighbourhood Plan boundary to enclose the Former Brickworks and Cattle Market site on Rycote Lane in Great Haseley on 11 March 2019. It was recognised this could not absolutely prevent speculative development elsewhere in Great Haseley and the Parish Council therefore believed the arrangement to be of a greater benefit to Thame. GHPC have accepted the principal, subject to confirmation of the area to be covered, a legal agreement to share any future financial benefit that may accrue (this refers to Business Rate retention) and that this could be arranged on a no-cost basis for Great Haseley.
* The NPCO will draft a Memorandum of Understanding to be mutually agreed between Sydenham Parish Council and Thame Town Council.
Members noted the summary of what has been submitted through the Call for Sites. Twenty-four sites have been put forward by eighteen land owners, all subject to site assessment. An assessment methodology will be drawn up and agreed by the NPCC Co-ordination Working Group.
The NPCO presented the Project Brief to progress the review of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan. This included a timetable of meetings for the NPCC Co-Ordination Working Group (and relevant Local Plan Consultation Team Members).
i) The Project Brief be approved.
8. Oxfordshire Growth Board / Oxfordshire Plan 2050
It was noted that a response to the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 Introducing the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 was made by the NPCO, under delegated authority. The topic papers that accompanied the vision and objectives consultation document covered matters such as the spatial strategy, and heritage. Their publication represents best practice and it is hoped this level of transparency will be maintained throughout the process.
The Oxfordshire Plan Call for Ideas consultation was looking for broad locations for growth. The NPCO had been delegated to respond to this consultation on behalf of the Town Council but found it was a call for strategic-level sites, and so with the agreement of the Local Plan Consultation Team, did not respond.
9. Affordable Housing / Community Land Trust (CLT)
Members noted the written update. Cllr Austin added that as a result of attending the National CLT Network conference on 10 May 2019 he had gained a contact for a Passivhaus development who had agreed to provide costings and different types of sustainability that can be achieved. The Thame CLT aimed to provide as sustainable housing as possible whilst remaining affordable.
10. Other Items to Note
The items for information were noted.
The meeting concluded at 7.55pm
Chairman, 2 July 2019