28 June 2016 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 28 June 2016 at 7.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin (Chairman), D Bretherton (Deputy Chairman), P Cowell, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), D Dodds, M Dyer, H Fickling, P Lambert and A Midwinter
G Hunt, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Emery (Council Business) and Stiles (Unwell).
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 17 May 2016 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5. Working Groups
a) Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group
Cllr Bretherton reported that there had been little movement since the last meeting particularly with regard to s106 monies.
Cllr Bretherton read a letter that he intended to send to Mr Hudspeth, Leader of the County Council regarding a discussion that took place during a meeting on devolution held at the Town Hall. Cllr Bretherton had raised the question of adequate provision of s106 funding for secondary education in Chinnor. The County Council Officer had replied that no s106 funding had been requested for secondary education in Chinnor as there was no secondary school in the village. Members were in agreement that this was very short sighted and that the letter be sent, after further factual investigations, by Cllr Bretherton as Chairman of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan Working Group.
b) The Green Living Plan Working Group
Cllr Fickling reported that a meeting of the Working Group had been arranged for 11 July 2016. The RSA had produced a Thame Travel Plan Discussion paper which would be discussed in more detail under item 11 of the agenda and had gathered more information which would help to progress the Thame & Haddenham cycle path.
c) The Town Centre Working Group
Cllr Fickling reported on behalf of the Working Group that eight parking surveys had been completed all focusing on the busiest periods of the week. A summary report of the surveys would be published mid-July.
The Town Clerk reported that a very successful Midsomer Workshop had taken place at the Town Hall on 22 June 2016 which helped encourage the vibrancy and vitality of the Town. The Town Mayor had attended the workshop in her capacity as Town Mayor and also Chairman of the Town Centre Working Group.
6. Cattle Market / Transport / Parking Working Group Proposal
Cllr Austin drew attention to the proposal to move forward the Cross Party Working Group to co-ordinate the progression of the three identified key issues as agreed at the last Committee meeting. Following further discussion it was now felt appropriate to separate the Cross Party Working Group into a Transport Plan Working Group and a Community Facilities Working Group. Both Working Groups would report back to the NPC Committee with a Co-ordination Working Group formed to ensure smooth progress, across all Working Groups, in between committee meetings.
The background paper together with the proposed Terms of Reference for each Working Group were included in the Committee Papers. It was proposed that Cllr Cowell chair the Transport Plan Working Group, Cllrs Champken-Woods and Dixon would jointly Chair the Community Facilities Working Group and Cllr Austin would chair the Co-ordination Working Group.
i) The Transport Plan Working Group, Community Facilities Working Group and Co-ordination Working Group be formed and the Terms of Reference as detailed in the report be approved.
7. South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2032
The public consultation on the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2032, Preferred Options Document had commenced on Monday 27 June 2016 and would run for eight weeks. This was the third stage in the preparation of the Local Plan 2032, following on from the Issues and Options and Refined Options stages.
Representatives from the Town Council had met with SODC ahead of the official publication of the consultation and the Town Clerk’s informal notes summarised the discussion that had taken place. It was felt the District did not appreciate the impact that an additional 600 dwellings would have. With the 600 houses, and without any more windfall, Thame was already scheduled to grow in housing units by 37% over the November 2011 base used in the 2027 plan. It was noted that the Local Plan proposed that the site for a new settlement be built on the airfield at Chalgrove rather than closer to Thame at Junction 7 of the M40.
Prior to the meeting a request had been made for a breakdown and methodology by which the figures contained in the report had been reached. Particularly the completions 2011-16 and commitments as at 31 March 2016. This had not been received and the Town Council would continue to push for the information.
It was envisaged that the SODC Local Plan 2032 would be adopted in the summer of 2017. This would mean a new Neighbourhood Plan for Thame coming forward for adoption in the Spring of 2018. The role of the Town’s District Councillors would be critical during this time and the case for windfall numbers in Thame to be counted directly against any proposed housing allocation would continue to be pressed.
Members agreed that a press release be sent out highlighting the Preferred Options Consultation and encourage residents to submit their comments. People should also be encouraged to attend the SODC Public Consultation to be held at the Town Hall on Saturday 2 July 2016 from 11am – 3pm.
It was agreed that a small consultation team be set up to co-ordinate the Town Council’s response to the consultation. A public meeting would be held in mid-July to gauge the strength of feeling within the community and to consult with them all of which would help formulate the Town Council’s formal response.
i) A consultation team comprising Cllrs Austin, Bretherton, Dodds, Dyer and Fickling, together with the Town Clerk, be delegated responsibility to progress a response to the Consultation on behalf of the Town Council.
ii) In order to formulate the response the consultation team be delegated responsibility to arrange a public meeting and call upon representatives from other interested parties as required.
8. Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan
The publication of the proposed Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan identified an additional 1,050 dwellings in Haddenham and supported a strategic site immediately on the edge of the village comprising 4,500 dwellings. Haddenham being referred to as a good site for development as it was served well by the services and infrastructure in Thame.
This proposal could not be viewed in isolation and it was noted that SODC had not been included in the list of respondees to earlier consultations. At the pre-consultation meeting on the SODC Local Plan representatives denied all knowledge of the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan consultation.
Members felt strongly that the Vale of Aylesbury could not be expected to use the existing infrastructure in Thame to service any new development in Haddenham and that there should be a collaborative effort between Thame Town Council and Haddenham Parish Council. It was agreed that the consultation team as proposed under item 7 will include this in their Brief.
9. Towersey Neighbourhood Plan
Formal notification of the Consultation on the proposed Neighbourhood Plan area for the Towersey Neighbourhood Plan had been received. It was agreed that the Council would write to Towersey Parish Council offering co-operation.
10. Windfall Spreadsheet
Members noted the spreadsheet which set out the windfall developments that had been applied for since 1 January 2011 to date. It was agreed that the Council would continue to press the District Council to recognise the number of windfalls and that the figure should be taken off any new housing allocated to Thame in the Local Plan 2032.
It was agreed that the document was a valuable aid and would continue to be reviewed and updated.
i) The windfall document be continually reviewed and kept up to date.
11. Thame Travel Plan
The RSA Group had produced a comprehensive and valuable Thame Travel Plan Discussion Paper which was thought provoking and highlighted the challenges that lay ahead. It was a piece of work that would involve the Green Living Plan Working Group and the Transport Plan Working Group. Any comments on the discussion paper should be passed to Cllr Fickling.
12. Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
The Town Clerk reported that the recruitment process for a Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer was underway and that the deadline for receipt of applications was Monday 4 July 2016.
13. Market Town Co-Ordinator
The Town Clerk reported that research had been undertaken into job descriptions, but that as yet, other priorities had prevented the formal commencement of the recruitment process.
14. Neighbourhood Plan Update Newsletter
It was noted that as yet, other priorities had prevented the formal commencement of the Neighbourhood Plan Update Newsletter. The work may also be hindered by the resignation of the Community Project Officer.
15. Vibrancy & Vitality Study
Members noted that the final version of the Vibrancy & Vitality Study, as prepared by Miller Research, had been published on the Town Council’s website.
16. Burial Space Working Group
The first meeting of the Working Group had been arranged for Tuesday 19 July 2016. It was a requirement of the s106 agreement, for development on Site C, that a cemetery be built within 12 months of the land being found viable to do so.
There were a number of options with regard to burial space in the town which the Working Group would begin to explore at the first meeting, which may be put forward as an alternative.
The meeting concluded at 8.44pm
Chairman, 9 August 2016
28 June 2016