05 April 2022 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 5 April 2022 at 6:30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


Cllrs B Austin, N Champken-Woods (Deputy Mayor), P Cowell (Town Mayor), M Deacock, A Dite (Deputy Chairman), D Dodds, H Fickling (Chairman), and T Wyse


Cllrs M Dyer and C Jones


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


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllrs Emery (personal), Richards (personal) and Midwinter (personal).


2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

Cllrs Champken-Woods and Wyse declared an interest in planning application P22/S0742/HH at 53 Ludsden Grove as residents of that street. This was not a pecuniary interest and did not preclude them from debating or voting on this item.


3 Public Participation and Public Questions

Mr. Nicholas Reaston-Brown spoke on behalf of Seville Developments in support of planning application P22/S0064/FUL (Amendment No.1) at Unit 8 Goodson Industrial Mews. Originally the redevelopment of Goodson Industrial Mews sought a large number of units which the Town Council did not support as it was overdevelopment. The site is now looking to retain some of the light industrial and office use to be more in keeping with the surrounding area. Unit 5 now has planning permission and Units 6 and 7 are being redeveloped through permitted development. Unit 8 is currently a warehouse with an employment value of 3-4 staff, currently used for casual storage. The amended application as presented replaced one of the flats with an office, which would offer an employment gain and be less harmful to residential amenity compared to a warehouse with HGVs. A masterplan of the site’s parking was available. Overall, it was hoped that the Town Council would support this development.

There were no questions for Mr. Reaston-Brown.

Mr. Stuart Blayney spoke on behalf of over twenty East Street residents against planning application P22/S0064/FUL (Amendment No.1) as it would place significant dominance and intrusion on their amenity. The proposals would result in an intrusion of privacy, particularly to the rear gardens which are currently private and not overlooked. It would also be overbearing and overdevelopment with a 40% increase in the footprint of the building. The development of the whole site will provide 26 parking spaces for 25 flats, which falls below the car ownership average in South Oxfordshire of 1.58 per household. Lightfoots, who occupy Unit 9, use all their parking spaces daily. It was felt that the parking requirements had been underestimated and will have a knock-on effect on an already strained situation. The development will also increase traffic and detract from the council’s carbon-free aspirations. The back-to-back and back-to-border distances were not being met, and the plans do not show ‘The Cube’ at 4a East Street. The Conservation Officer has not yet commented on the latest application, however on the previous application they felt the development was imposing and did not preserve the setting of the Conservation Area. With regards to employment, the applicant states the building has been vacant since 2013 and there had been no market interest, however residents had only seen the site vacant for one year during that time and were not aware of any active marketing evidence. Therefore, this was inaccurate and misleading. Due to the site’s location on contaminated land, there was limited landscaping. The Air Quality Officer was recommending refusal due to the absence of a detailed air quality assessment. There were other documents missing which were delaying a response from the relevant Officers. Mr Blayney had provided Members with photographs taken from resident’s properties on East Street that showed a mock-up of the proposed building line, as well as showing the relationship between Unit 8 and the recently constructed ‘The Cube’.

A question was raised as to whether the main concern related to overlooking and loss of amenity? And whether residents were concerned about parking given future occupiers were unlikely to park on East Street? Mr. Blayney advised that overlooking was a big concern. The proposal would increase the building from a single storey building with a large, pitched roof to a 3-storey building with balconies and a larger footprint, which would be a significant change. Parking was already stretched on East Street and Wellington Street and could not accommodate any further pressures.

A question was raised as to whether the residents felt that the rooflights on the third floor and balconies with their screening would still give rise to overlooking? Mr. Blayney felt that whilst there would be some screening, this would not take away from the dominance that the introduction of a building with multiple windows would bring.

A question was raised as to whether any drawings were available that showed the proposed elevations in relation to the properties on East Street? Mr. Blayney advised that this had not been measured. The photos as circulated were taken from second floor windows on East Street.

Members then discussed and made a recommendation regarding P22/S0064/FUL (Amendment No.1).

Mrs Catherine Jones spoke as the applicant for planning application P22/S0767/HH at 10 Swan Walk. The property is in the Conservation Area but is a relatively modern development. The proposal seeks to replace the current timber windows with UVPC windows. The existing windows are draughty and rotting and some cannot be opened. Replacing the windows would improve the property’s energy efficiency and security, and require less maintenance. It was noted that the Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) had objected, however there were examples on Swan Walk of other properties which had replaced their windows with UVPC, and this had not harmed the Conservation Area.

Members then discussed and made a recommendation regarding P22/S0767/HH.


4 Minutes

The Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 15 March 2022 were confirmed as a correct record, and were signed by the Chairman.


5 Planning Applications


Redevelopment of storage (Class B8) to provide 1 office (Class E) and 7 dwellings (7 x 2-bed apartments) (Class C3) with associated access and landscaping works. (As amended by plan received 03 March 2022)

The officer recommendation was to support the application subject to the removal of permitted development rights in order to prevent future changes of use that may harm the amenity of occupiers. The height of the building was not unusual, although it was recognised that the transformation of the skyline was a concern. Officers had been reassured by the District Council that the screening and positioning of the balconies and rooflights would mitigate overlooking concerns and would be covered by building regulations. The lack of landscaping was disappointing, but it was recognised that contamination is a serious issue. With regards to employment, the amended plans as presented, which now included an office, could be seen as evidence of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan policies working. In terms of design, there were examples within Thame town centre and Conservation Area, where new materials have been introduced and worked successfully alongside the historic environment. Furthermore, given the site’s mixed use, it was felt that the design was acceptable.

On the matter of employment, Members felt it was disingenuous to state that the warehouse could only employ four people as in the past it was employing 10-12 staff when used as a workshop. Members were pleased to see that an office had been included, although it was questioned whether this had been thought through as a viable option for businesses in terms of its size and location.

Concerns were raised about the lack drawings showing the relationship between the proposed building and the existing dwellings on East Street, as there was no evidence to show whether neighbouring amenity would be harmed or not, although it was noted that the applicant had taken measures to mitigate overlooking concerns.


      • Unneighbourly due to loss of privacy
      • Out of keeping with the area

Proposed side and rear single storey extension, extension of hardstanding and dropped kerb (extent of permeable parking reduced and moved back from Highways land as shown on amended plan received 14th March 2022).


      • Subject to no objection from the County Highways Officer.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, GA6, ESDQ16, ESDQ28, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES5, DES6, DES7, DES8, H20, TRANS5

1566 – 10 SWAN WALK

Replace existing wood window frame around double-glazed units, with like-for-like UPVC frames and double-glazed windows. The wooden front and back doors also need replacing with like-for-like UPVC units.


Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES3, DES6, DES7, DES8, ENV6, ENV8

1567 – 3 BELL CLOSE

Single storey side and rear extension.


Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ18, ESDQ19, ESDQ20, ESDQ28
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES3, DES5, DES6, DES7, DES8, ENV6, ENV8, H20


Installation of ventilation/extract ductwork on rear elevation.

NO OBJECTION plus comment:

      • Subject to no objection from the Environmental Health Officer.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ19, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES3, DES6, DES7, DES8, ENV6, ENV8, ENV12


Single storey rear extension.


Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, ESDQ16, ESDQ28
SODC Local Plan Policies:  DES1, DES5, DES6, DES7, DES8, H20


Replacement windows to the front of the property.

NO OBJECTION plus comment:

      • Subject to no objection from the District Conservation Officer.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ19, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies:  DES1, DES2, DES3, DES7, DES8, ENV6, ENV8


Single storey side and front extensions, hip to gable roof extension, rooflights and cabrio balconies, and changes to the rear elevation.


Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, GA6, ESDQ16, ESDQ28, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies:  DES1, DES5, DES6, DES7, DES8, H20, TRANS5


6 Development off Elms Road by Rectory Homes

The District Council are seeking a street name suggestion from the Town Council for the development off Elms Road by Rectory Homes. The developer has suggested ‘The Crescent’ and the District Council advised that a street name not connected to a person would be preferrable.

The Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO) advised that he had looked into the site’s history, and it was formerly known as ‘May’s Elms’.


  1. The Town Council put forward ‘May’s Field’ as a street name for the development off Elms Road by Rectory Homes.


7 For Information

The items for information were noted. It was noted that CAAC had commented on the poor state of the windows at FitzGerald Dentist. Officers had reported this to the District Council Building Control who had inspected it earlier in the day and advised that the windows were not imminently dangerous. Building Control would contact the relevant persons to discuss their proposals for the windows.


The meeting concluded at 7:35pm.



Signed ………………………

Chairman, 3 May 2022