30 January 2018 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee held on 30 January 2018 at 7.15pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin (Chairman), D Bretherton (Deputy Chairman), P Cowell, M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling, A Midwinter, M Stiles and T Wyse (Town Mayor)
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 Cllrs Dodds (SODC) and 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 19 December 2017 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
Cllr Bretherton reported that there was a lot going on but at this stage he did not have anything further to report.
The Town Clerk reported that he had had a positive meeting with Cath Adams the new s106 /CIL Officer at South Oxfordshire District Council. Cath had a parish council background and therefore a good understanding of the needs of Town and Parish Councils.
Cath had just processed the Town Council’s application to draw down s106 monies from the Bloor site related to safety and security for the proposed lighting scheme for the car park at Southern Road Recreation Ground. In processing the application the information was shared with the appropriate departments at the District which highlighted a concern related to the effect of the lighting on the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve. As a result the scheme has been modified.
The Town Clerk reported that the Rugby Club had enquired about further pull down of s106 monies, in line with that previously agreed.
A date had still to be set for the IDPWG to meet to discuss how CIL money will be spent and how to influence the District on how it will spend the 75% of CIL that is not allocated to the Town Council for the good of Thame.
Cllr Fickling entered the meeting during discussion of item 5b.
c) The Green Living Plan Working Group
Cllr Fickling had nothing further to report.
The NPCO reported that the RSA had selected specialists to consult with regard to some work on the Green Living Plan. Separately there was a need to register Public Rights of Way in Thame not already recorded, this needed to be done by 1 January 2026. Although the date seemed a long way off applications were being processed in order of receipt. There was a considerable backlog and processing would take several years. Mr Boundy had offered to help find volunteers to undertake the work.
The NPCO had looked at the details of the Government’s announcement for funding to provide electric charging points on High Streets. The application for funding was not as straight forward as first thought, some forward planning was needed as dedicated parking bays for electric vehicle charging would be required.
d) The Town Centre Working Group
The Market Town Co-Ordinator (MTCO) had provided a detailed report including the revised Terms of Reference for the working group which required approval by the Committee.
Cllr Emery reported that 21st Century Thame had agreed to write to Thame District Councillors asking for their support with regard to the decision by the Economic Development Department to withdraw funding for Market Town Co-ordinators. The Town Clerk reminded Members that the shortfall in funding had been covered in the 2018/19 budget agreed at the Council meeting on 16 January 2018.
The Town Clerk reported that he had chased SODC for a date to meet to discuss the Cattle Market site but as yet had not had a response.
i) The revised Town Centre Working Group Terms of Reference be approved.
e) Transport Plan Working Group
The Town Clerk reported that a lot of transport related information had been processed since the last meeting.
The NPCO and Committee Services Officer had met with a member of the County Highways team in relation to dropped kerbs and walked the route from Park Street to the new developments on Wenman Road and Thame Park Road. The Highways Officer had since provided feedback on the issues raised.
Cllr Stiles had reported to the Planning & Environment Committee meeting earlier this evening the results of a meeting with representatives of Arriva, Carousel, OCC and the police to discuss bus stops along East Street and Kingsey Road in relation to the X8 /280 route.
The Town Clerk reported a number of other transport related items that had been discussed including: a request to consider parking permits on Nelson Street; reports of parking across access ways in North Street; safety on Tythrop Way; capacity of Aylesbury Road roundabout; complaints about insufficient long term parking in the town; another suggestion for a 20mph speed limit on and around Southern Road; parking on the double yellow lines in the Buttermarket; the lack of enforcement of the 2 hour parking restrictions in the town centre. Where relevant the Town Council had provided (or would provide) a response along with advice to keep reporting parking infringements to the police.
In addition the Town Clerk had provided conditional support to Goring Parish Council who are campaigning for increased civil enforcement of parking.
f) Community Facilities Working Group
Cllr Dixon stated there was not a lot to report, further work was required but resources are limited. The Town Clerk reported that the group had initially met more than a year ago and he had hoped to get a public statement on progress out by the end of last year, following Leap’s work on new data. Further analysis of the data used by Leap needed to be done (in comparison with that previously established by the Cattle Market Action Group) and the Town Clerk called for volunteers. Cllr Dixon offered to do the comparison work required.
Another next step was to involve SODC but this was proving difficult whilst they ignored requests for a meeting.
Cllr Stiles reported that she was going with the Cattle Market Action Group to visit the Elgiva theatre in Chesham on 20 February. The Town Clerk reported that he had been told that Kelvin Sampson of Leap was also going.
g) Burial Space Working Group – nothing further to report.
6. Thame Neighbourhood Plan Revision
Members noted that it was agreed at the Council meeting on 16 January 2018 to launch the revision of the Neighbourhood Plan at the Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday 27 March 2018.
The NPCO reported that a small group would pull together the detailed plans for the evening and a meeting would be arranged to do this. Advance publicity for the meeting will be progressed in due course.
7. South Oxfordshire District Local Plan
It was noted that the Town Council had yet to hear that the District Council had submitted the Pre-Submission Local Plan. It is believed from comments made by Council Leader John Cotton that the response to the most recent consultation had been prepared but that submission was delayed because of uncertainty over the Chalgrove allocation site.
It had been reported separately that Homes England (the former Homes and Communities Agency) were prepared to use compulsory purchase powers in order to force Martin Baker to move from the Chalgrove airfield site, where they currently benefit from a long lease. The reasons for this were a little unclear, the Chalgrove site having been transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency on 6 September 2016.
8. P17/S1069/FUL – The Elms 32 Upper High Street, Thame, OX9 2DN
It was noted that work had started on pavement and road alterations in Elms Road. There were now nine conditions being sought for discharge under the approved application for 37 dwellings but the revised, Extra Care housing scheme had neither been decided, nor withdrawn.
9. P16/S3525/FUL – Thames Valley Police, Greyhound Lane
Members noted that the NPCO had submitted a formal response to the appeal. The District Council notified the Town Council of a change of venue for the appeal hearing, to Tetsworth Memorial Hall on 13-14 March 2018.
The District also informed the Town Council that, following advice from the District’s Barrister, the District would not be contesting the issue of parking during the appeal. The District advised the Town Council that “Interested Parties” would still be able to raise parking. The NPCO confirmed that the Town Council had registered as an interested party.
10. Health Hub / Hallam Land
It was noted that Hallam Land had reported that various further meetings had been held with a variety of interested partners and it had been agreed that Montpelier would now prepare a draft layout and design of the proposed Health Hub. Current timings suggested further discussion with the Town Council would take place towards the end of February.
11. Affordable Housing / Community Land Trust
Cllr Austin reported the working group had met on 24 January 2018 to discuss the three immediate next steps as outlined in the Interim Report to Full Council on 16 January 2018. Notes of the meeting had been circulated to the working group, each member taking responsibility for particular actions.
Cllr Austin stated that any affordable housing provided through the Community Land Trust (CLT) in Thame would be in addition to that provided through the District Housing policy. It was not an impossible task and at this stage Cllr Austin felt cautiously optimistic.
12. Rycote Lane Planning Applications
Members noted that following the planning applications submitted in Rycote Lane for the Cattle Market and an industrial estate and reported at Full Council on 16 January 2018 the Town Clerk had been in further communication with Great Haseley Parish Council over the issue of ensuring plan-led growth of Thame’s employment areas. This was likely to require in part or whole, a neighbourhood plan-led solution.
13. Site Allocation Discussions
Following the lifting of the moratorium Members noted that a further request had been received from Angle Property to discuss the future of the Kingsmead Business Park. The feeling of the Committee was that a meeting should be arranged to hear what plans Angle Property had for the future of the site and to reinforce the Council’s view that the best use of the site would be to provide employment space.
14. The Three-Year Housing Land Supply
It was noted that the recent Judicial Review following a legal challenge by 25 developers, strategic land holders and builders against the Written Ministerial Statement of 12 December 2016 had been unsuccessful on all grounds sought. This may give the Town Clerk the opportunity to open correspondence with the new Housing Minister.
15. Neighbourhood Plan Support
Given Thame’s reputation for Neighbourhood Planning, and it’s ever increasing experience in life beyond the adoption of a Neighbourhood Plan, it was noted that:
a) The NPCO had provided input to a Newcastle University Research Project on the importance of Quality of Place in Neighbourhood Planning.
b) A further invitation had been received to present to Masters of Planning students at Oxford Brookes University on 6 March 2018
c) The briefing to University of Gloucestershire students was now scheduled for 21 March 2018.
d) A request to use spare capacity of the NPCO from an adjacent town had been declined, as there was no spare capacity at present.
16. Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring and Delivery Report
Members noted that some progress had been made on the Neighbourhood Plan Monitoring and Delivery Report which, as last year will be progressed to completion via e-mail circulation.
The meeting concluded at 8.02pm
Chairman, 13 March 2018