15 March 2015 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 15 March 2016 at 7.38pm In the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton (Deputy Chairman), M Deacock, N Dixon (Town Mayor), D Dodds, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling (Chairman),
A Midwinter and T Wyse
G Hunt, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Cowell (Business) and Stiles (Unwell).
2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
Cllr Emery declared an interest in noting items 7d & 7e as a resident of Maple Road. Cllr Deacock declared an interest in Planning Application P15/S3607/FUL and after making a statement did not take part in the debate or vote on this item. Cllr Deacock also declared an interest in planning application P16/S0497/HH as the applicant was known to him.
3 Public Participation and Public Questions
P15/S3607/FUL – Windrush, Bridge Terrace – Amendment No. 1
Mrs Braybrook, a neighbour of Windrush, spoke against the planning application. The amended proposals did not overcome the previous concerns raised by Mrs Braybrook and that of other neighbours. Whilst they welcomed development on the site it needed to be done in a sustainable manner that was sympathetic to the surroundings, the neighbouring properties and in line with the Thame Neighbourhood Plan.
Mrs Braybook highlighted four main concerns:
a) Overdevelopment of the site – it was felt that three houses comprising eight bedrooms between them was overdevelopment of a site that currently comprised one bungalow. The proposal was not only excessive in size, scale and bulk but the close proximity of the boundary to neighbouring properties would lead to an increase in noise and disturbance.
b) Increase in traffic and safety related issues – the development would lead to an increase in traffic movement along a track that was not fit for purpose and positioned close to neighbouring gardens. The increase in vehicles would lead to more cars being parked in Cotmore Gardens which was already congested and would make it more difficult for buses.
c) Impact on light and privacy – Unit one would be overbearing and restrict light into Mrs Braybrook’s property. There was also privacy issues with overlooking to the kitchen and hall from the side window of unit one.
d) Increased pressure on amenities and services.
Mr Emmett, the Agent and Mr Smith, the owner spoke for the planning application. This was an amendment to the proposal and Mr Emmett had been working hard with the District Planning Officer to get a scheme that would be supported by the District Planning authority.
The dwellings had moved further away from neighbouring properties to create a larger distance between the buildings. Units 1 and 2 had been reduced in height by over 2ft and the loft element removed to prevent the dwelling ‘morphing’ into a three bedroom unit. The amenity space now complied with current policy. There had been no objection from the County Highways department with the proposed access via Cotmore Gardens. Mr Smith stated that the gravel track only extended across three Bridge Terrace houses and was not relevant to the current plans.
The District Planning Officer had indicated to Mr Emmett that he was of a mind to recommend approval for this application and Mr Emmett hoped the Town Council would be able to make the same recommendation to the District Council.
Cllr Deacock stated that this application to develop Windrush had been recommended for refusal by the Town Council three times and nothing had fundamentally changed with this amendment. The waste bins would need to be taken down to the corner of Cotmore Gardens to site already used by a number of residents.
The District Planning Officer had approved the access between the two Phoenix Court buildings and the owner of the freehold to Phoenix Court had given permission for access. In no documentation was there any guarantee of who would be responsible for the maintenance of the track beyond the tarmac and the ownership was unknown.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5 Planning Applications
P15/S3607/FUL WINDRUSH, BRIDGE TERRACE
Amendment No. 1
Demolition of existing dwelling at Windrush and erection of pair of semi-detached dwellings and one detached dwelling (as amended to reduce the size of the dwellings and provide new vehicular access off Cotmore Gardens).
Comment: The access track is in poor condition and increased vehicular movement, as a result of the proposed development, would lead to further deterioration. It was noted that ownership of part of the track was unknown which could lead to issues with regard to access for future occupiers.
P16/S0497/HH 18 ONSLOW DRIVE
Erection of two storey side extension, conversion of rear third of garage and replacement of mastic asphalt driveway surface with block paving.
P16/S0131/FUL LAND AT 42 QUEENS ROAD
Erection of a four bedroom chalet bungalow with attached double garage (Amendment to P14/S2097/FUL).
P16/S0517/HH 18 HAMPDEN AVENUE
Erection of part two-storey, part single storey rear extension and front entrance porch.
P16/S0653/LB THE OLD GRAMMAR SCHOOL, CHURCH ROAD
Provision of external stand by electrical generator within existing fenced enclosure.
Subject to no objection from the District Conservation Officer
P16/S0398/FUL BULL LANE
Erection of a two storey two bedroom residential dwelling.
1. Adverse impact on the Conservation Area
4. Access and parking
P16/S0605/FUL THE DAIRY, MORETON
Shower / Wash block and tractor mower store.
RECOMMEND NO STRONG VIEWS
Concerns were expressed that SODC are not in all cases putting enough emphasis on conformance with the Thame Neighbourhood Plan. It was agreed this should be added as a topic for discussion on a future agenda.
6 Reports from Town Council Representatives
Transport Representative – Nothing to report in Cllr Stiles absence.
Cllr Austin raised the question of the two new bus stops on either side of Howland Way close to the newly developed industrial units. Correspondence had been received from Carousel Bus Company stating the next step would be a site meeting with Oxfordshire County Council Highways, Thames Valley Police and representatives from the County and Town Councils. Once adopted the bus stops would be added to the Link 40 service.
7 For Information
The items for information were noted.
Item c) – P16/S0657/PDO – Milton House, Station Yard. Members noted the proposal to change the use from B1a office to eight C3 dwellings. It was agreed that a letter be written stating that the proposal did not conform to the Thame Neighbourhood Plan, regret at the loss of employment land, the proposal to build poorly designed dwellings, with little amenity space, limited parking and set on the entrance to a busy industrial estate. This site was not appropriate for residential use.
The meeting concluded at 8.25pm
Chairman, 5 April 2016