07 September 2021 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 7 September 2021 at 6:30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


Cllrs P Cowell (Town Mayor), M Deacock, A Dite (Deputy Chairman), L Emery, H Fickling (Chairman), H Richards, A Midwinter, and T Wyse


G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
L Fuller, Committee Services Officer

1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllrs Austin (personal) and Champken-Woods (county council business). Cllr Dodds was absent without apology.

2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

Cllr Emery declared an interested in planning application P21/S3586/FUL as a relative of one of the neighbours, however this was not a pecuniary interest and did not preclude her from voting or debating on this item.

3 Public Participation and Public Questions

Cllr Richards entered the meeting during this item.

Mr. Steve Hughes spoke against planning application P21/S3586/FUL (Land at Elm Tree Farm) as a neighbour. Elm Tree Barn is a listed building located immediately adjacent to the application site. Mr Hughes had taken planning legal advice and had read the various correspondence from other Moreton residents relating to the application. The application does not support the overriding policies of sustainable development. Moreton is not a sustainable location as defined in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan (TNP) or Local Plan. The proposals do not recognize the strategic value of the site’s wildlife or footpath connections. The visual amenity enjoyed by walkers and the residents of the existing properties would be lost. Moreton is often referred to as the ‘green lung of Thame’ and therefore developments such as these should be vigorously resisted. The size and positioning of the proposed dwelling were not in keeping with the setting of the Conservation Area or the two adjacent Listed Buildings. It was felt that there would be unacceptable intrusion on the vibrant wildlife community as a result of the loss of mature hedgerows and trees, and the impact on the roosting bats near to Elm Tree Barn. Overall, the proposal was contrary to existing planning policies in terms of its accessibility, sustainability, size, and impact on ecology, and would have an adverse impact on the community. It was noted that the Thame Conservation Area Advisory Committee had concluded that it was overdevelopment of a rural location. After his presentation, Mr. Hughes circulated photographs of the view of the site from existing footpaths to the committee.

A question was raised as to whether Mr. Hughes had evidence of bats, as this would give greater weight to his concerns. Mr. Hughes did not have evidence other than that he sees them every night.

Members then discussed and made a recommendation regarding planning application P21/S3586/FUL.

4 Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 August 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5 Planning Applications


Roof and single storey side extensions (Statement submitted by agent on 18th August 2021 following consultation response).


      • The plans do not show a declared finished height to the property, nor at what point on the ground the existing and proposed heights have or will be taken from.
      • Concern regarding adverse impact on the setting of the heritage assets.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, GA6, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ18, ESDQ20, ESDQ28, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES5, DES7, ENV8, H3, TRANS5, DES6, DES8, H20


Erection of shed in front garden (as shown in amended plans received 23rd August 2021)


Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ18, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES3, DES5, DES7, ENV6, ENV7, ENV8, DES6, DES8


Single storey front/ side extension to dwelling


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


New single storey rear extension and two storey side extension with remodelling to existing house.


Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, GA6, ESDQ16, ESDQ18, ESDQ21, ESDQ22, ESDQ28, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES5, DES7, ENV1, TRANS5, DES6, DES8, H20

1478 – 10 WILLOW ROAD

Front porch, change flat roof to pitched.


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

1479 – 19 MARSTON ROAD

Single storey front extension with raised roof and extended dormer window.


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

1480 – 79 QUEENS ROAD

Single story extension to the front of the property with an apex roof (full width) including velux windows.


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


Erection of a detached dwelling with access, parking and amenity space.


      • Overdevelopment
      • Impact on the street scene
      • Impact on biodiversity
      • Out of scale
      • Contrary to Local Plan Policy H16
      • Unsustainable location
      • Loss of village feel

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H5, H6, GA6, ESDQ11, ESDQ12, ESDQ13, ESDQ16, ESDQ18, ESDQ19, ESDQ21, ESDQ22, ESDQ26, ESDQ27, ESDQ28, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES2, DES3, DES5, DES7, ENV1, ENV5, H3, H12, H16, INF1, STRAT1, TH1, TRANS2, TRANS5, DES6, DES8, EP3


Proposed single storey front porch extension.


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

6 MW.0096/21 – ASM Auto Recycling Ltd, Menlo Industrial Park, Rycote Lane, Thame, OX9 2JB

With the time approaching 7:30pm during this item, it was proposed and agreed to suspend Standing Orders in order to conclude the remaining business on the agenda.

The Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO) advised that the main concerns with this application related to the technicalities of the Use Classes Order. The applicant states it would be commercial to commercial, however the NPCO advised it was actually B8 to Sui Generis. The applicant states there would not be a loss of employment, but approximately 700sqm of floorspace will be lost. The applicant is not expanding or creating more jobs; they are trying to find more space for their ongoing operations, to remove the need to transport end-of-life vehicles to and from Aylesbury. The Local Plan defines employment uses as those which fall within Use Class E, but states that employment land can be defined by the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plan. The TNP defines B8 as employment land and therefore the NPCO recommended the Town Council objects on the grounds of loss of employment land and that it is contrary to TNP Policy WS12 in not being marketed for one year.

Members raised concern that the proposals would see an increase in noise disturbance from the business operations for residents in the vicinity, including in Moreton and Oxford Road, as well as other businesses on Rycote Lane. There was no acoustic report submitted and it was not clear who had made the claim within the application that there would be no additional noise disturbance.

Concern was also raised with regards to the impact on the highways network, particularly given the likely future relocation of the Cattle Market nearby. The NPCO advised that a one-way system would be introduced with a left turn only on the western exit, and that the applicant suggested that there would be fewer vehicle journeys as a result of bringing the business operations onto a single site. It was also noted that the existing two entrances did not appear to be having an adverse effect on the highways network.

A question was raised as to the future of the business, if they needed to expand where would they go and what would that mean for the site? The NPCO advised that the Sui Generis class could permit a range of uses on the site. The applicant may acquire land to the north of the site. If the site were to become vacant, there would be concerns regarding the long-term use of the site once it effectively becomes a minerals and waste site.

The applicant had referred to the environmental benefits of the proposal in terms of relocating onto a single site, however they had not addressed the environmental impact of their ongoing operations. It was suggested that the committee request solar panels be added to help offset the carbon footprint.

In terms of the loss of employment, the NPCO clarified that the definition of employment uses within the District’s Local Plan no longer covers B8, however the TNP does recognise B8 as an employment use. B8 is recognised as employment land under the Local Plan and Use Classes Order. Conversion to Sui Generis would mean the site would have its own Use Class rules and would not technically be employment land.


  1. The following comments be made in response to planning application MW.0096/21:
  • Concern was raised that there was no acoustic report or evidence to demonstrate that there would not be an increase in noise disturbance for residential properties and businesses in the vicinity.
  • The committee requested that solar panel units be added to offset the carbon footprint of the ongoing operations.
  • Concern was raised regarding the long-term use of the site once it effectively becomes a minerals and waste site.
  • The site is currently Use Class B8 and by changing to Sui Generis this would be contrary to TNP Policy WS12, and also, therefore, a loss of employment land as defined in the District’s Local Plan.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H6, WS12, WS13, GA6, ESDQ16, ESDQ21, ESDQ22, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES1, DES7, EMP2, EMP3, ENV1, STRAT1, TH1, TRANS2, TRANS4, TRANS5, DES6, DES8, ENV11, ENV12, EP3

7 For Information

The items for information were noted.


The meeting concluded at 7:32pm.



Signed ……………………..

Chairman, 28 September 2021