15 December 2020 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 15 December 2020 at 6:30pm by Zoom Conference Call.


Cllrs B Austin, P Cowell, A Dite (Deputy Chairman), M Deacock, D Dodds, L Emery, H Fickling (Chairman), S Francis, C Jones, A Midwinter and T Wyse


C Pinnells, Acting Town Clerk
G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
L Fuller, Committee Services Officer

1 Apologies for Absence

There were no apologies for absence.

All Members who were present were able to be seen and be heard.

2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

Cllrs Wyse and Midwinter declared an interest in P20/S4298/FUL – 62 Ludsden Grove as residents of Ludsden Grove. Cllr Wyse confirmed that his nephew was the occupant of the neighbouring property, but this was not a pecuniary interest. Cllr Deacock declared an interest in P20/S2729/HH – 44 Cedar Crescent as he knew the applicant and abstained from voting on this item.

3 Public Participation and Public Questions

Mr Dave Harrison, Senior Public Transport Planner at Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), spoke in relation to Item 6. Mr Harrison explained that OCC had been approached by a commercial operator who were looking to run a new service between Thame and Aylesbury. The operator had no statutory duty to inform OCC of their proposals. OCC had observed that currently there was a lot of stand time in the centre of Thame and considered ways to use this time more effectively. Following discussions between OCC, the Town Council’s Transport Representative and Operator, the Operator has suggested that the new service incorporates Cromwell Avenue and Towersey Drive operating Monday – Friday hourly between 9:30am and 2:30pm. In terms of funding, the service would be funded via S106 funds allocated for public transport from a town centre development, equating to approximately £40,000. This would enable the service to run from February 2021 to August 2022. This was a relatively small amount of money to use a resource that is already there. Mr Harrison welcomed the Town Council’s comments on the proposal.

Regarding the funding, Members questioned whether this was a subsidy to keep the bus going and how it would be funded in the future? It was also felt that £40,000 was a lot to fund 18 months of an additional 2-3 miles on a bus that was already paid for. Mr Harrison explained that at the end of 18 months, the service would be reviewed to establish its viability and whether it was required. There was around £500,000 of further S106 public transport funds for Thame. The service would cost around £100 a day, compared to £500 a day for a standard bus. The service would not operate on weekends as it would use a school bus that was spare during weekdays. Providing a Saturday service was not common in these circumstances and would mean the service would operate for less than 18 months due to additional funding requirements. The bus service would be a commercial operation and not subsidised by OCC. OCC were trying to take advantage of the opportunity presented to them, as the operator was going to be starting the service regardless.

In terms of funding a holistic Thame strategy and other bus services in Thame, such as a Hopper Bus, Mr Harrison explained that OCC’s budget for ‘socially necessary’ bus services was cut in 2016. S106 funding is finite and hence has been strategically managed since 2016. Due to Covid-19, bus services are being propped up by a Government subsidy. The trial 280-service loop serving Wenman Road is a low-cost per annum contract and when that expires, OCC may be able to implement another service.

Members asked how the need for the service had been identified, and how the usage would be monitored? Cromwell Avenue and Towersey Drive are areas of Thame not currently served by a bus service and provided a useful test for whether a hopper bus would be desirable / needed and worth pursuing. It was also noted that the bus service would serve those without access to a private vehicle on Lea Park to enable them to travel into the Town Centre and Haddenham / Aylesbury. In terms of usage, Mr Harrison advised that bus operators should provide usage data monthly, which is then used to influence decision-making.

Members raised concern about the bus travelling down Park Street. Mr Harrison agreed to investigate this. A member of the Lea Park Residents Association had written to the Acting Town Clerk in support of the proposals and to ask whether the new service would assist in lowering the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph. Mr Harrison advised these matters were unrelated and could not comment on Highways matters.

Mr Harrison agreed to work with the Town Council, within the parameters and restrictions of S106, in finding a longer-term transport solution in the future and based on the discussions, would look to take forward the proposed bus service.

The committee were very grateful to Mr Harrison for attending and for clarifying various matters. Members then discussed Item 6.

4 Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5 Planning Applications


Variation of condition 2 (approved Plans) of application P19/S0998/HH (Single storey rear and side extension and alterations) -To allow for alterations to the approved scheme to facilitate provision of first floor accommodation within roof void (as amended by plan and additional information received 12 October 2020 providing floor level information and plans received 26 November 2020 reducing depth of side roof extension).

      • Thame Town Council has objected to the reduction in the separation of dwellings in this area primarily because it introduces a form that is out of character with the area and impacts on views from the Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve. The Town Council notes the reduction in depth of the proposed extension, but this is not sufficient to overcome the grounds for our objection. We do not, however, believe that a reiteration of those objections will be heeded by the District Council.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ21, ESDQ22
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, D1, D2, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3


Construction of garden building for part personal use and part business use as a hairdressing salon.

      • Unneighbourly
      • Impact on Highways
      • Access via a shared alleyway
      • Noise and smell disturbance
      • Impact on domestic water drainage network of a commercial operation involving chemical treatments

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ28, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, EO2, D1, D2, D3, D4, D10, D11, H13, E2, T2
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3, CSI1, CSEM1

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

1336 – 11 PUTMAN CLOSE

Convert a portion of the existing detached double garage into a home office for personal use only. Add window from proposed office to overlook garden in keeping with the current house with rosewood frame windows. Add door access into garage from side alley. No change to outward appearance of property from the street.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: D1, D2, D4, H13, T2
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3


Two & single storey extensions, internal & external alterations.

      • Subject to no objection from the District Conservation Officer

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, CON3, CON7, D1, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3, CSEN3


Two & single storey extensions, internal & external alterations.

      • Subject to no objection from the District Conservation Officer

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, CON3, CON7, D1, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3, CSEN3


The demolition of the existing single-storey roof and the erection of a new pitched roof turned 90 degrees from the existing pitched roof, and internal remodelling.

      • Subject to no objection from the District Conservation Officer

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ20
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, CON7, D1, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3, CSEN3


Proposed single storey rear extension.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, D1, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3

6 Proposal – New Bus Service (Cromwell Avenue / Towersey Drive)

After considering Mr Harrison’s helpful presentation and the various aspects of the proposal, Members viewed the proposed new bus service positively, adding that reports on passenger usage would be helpful. It was felt the proposal was fair and Members were keen to work with OCC moving forwards to achieve a long-desired hopper bus for the town. However, concerns were raised about navigating a bus through Cromwell Avenue and Towersey Drive due to parking issues.

7 Consultation – Review of Joint Statement of Licensing Policy

South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) were consulting on the review of their Licensing Policy. The changes were minor and brought SODC in line with Government legislation. Taxi licensing was covered under a separate policy. The committee had no comments to make on the consultation.

8 Reports from Town Council Representatives

  1. Transport Representative – There was nothing further to report following Item 6.

9 For Information

The items for information were noted.

Cllr Deacock asked whether there had been a typographical error on Item 9f, as it was felt that the new properties should be 5, 6 and 7 Windrush, Bridge Terrace. The Committee Services Officer advised that the information had been copied directly from SODC but would raise it with the Street Naming & Numbering Officer.

Members raised concern regarding works taking place in the former A Piece of Cake shop at 18-20 Upper High Street, as reported in the Conservation Area Advisory Committee minutes, as no permission had been granted for works on the listed building. The Committee Services Officer advised that a planning application for 20 Upper High Street would be discussed at the next committee meeting but would raise the matter with the District Conservation Officer.

Regarding 9i, it was confirmed that Cllr Emery would join the Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer to represent Thame Town Council on The Elms planning application at SODC’s planning committee on 16 December 2020. Members expressed their disappointment that SODC Officers were recommending approval.



The meeting concluded at 7:39pm.



Signed ……………………..

Chairman, 12 January 2021