17 February 2015 – Minutes

Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 17 February 2015 at 6.30pm In the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.
 Present: Cllrs N Champken-Woods, A Dite, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling (Chairman),
V Humphries, D Laver, J Matelot Green (Town Mayor) and M Stiles
J Howells, Asset Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Personal), Dodds (SODC) and the Town Clerk.
2 Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Public Participation
Mr Einig from David Einig Contracting Ltd and Mr Collinswood, owner of Moorend Lane Farm addressed the Committee with reference to item 6.  Mr Einig explained that the work to extract sand from the site had been delayed by a year due to requirements on site which needed to be in place before work could commence e.g. a tarmac road leading onto the site from Tythrop Way, a wheel wash for lorries exiting the site.  The delay had resulted in a need to extend the period of extraction and the completion of the restoration of the site.  Mr Einig went on to explain what was involved with the work that took place on the site and processes used.
With regard to the request to remove the ground markers, up until now the ground had been too wet to position them.  During a consultation with Oxfordshire County Council it was suggested that the removal of the ground markers be included in the application.  The markers identified the boundary of the site, however, the use of laser equipment ensured there would be no encroachment onto neighbouring land.  A temporary bund had been formed to stop excessive noise and dust from the site.
4 Minutes
The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5 Planning Applications
Erection of 6ft close boarded fence at front of property.
Albeit no objection if re-positioned to align with the building line.
1. Unneighbourly
2. Out of keeping with the area.
Erection of first floor front extension.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19
SODC Local Plan Policies: D1, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3
1) Paint the existing timber fascia panel
2) Replace the existing signage
The use of foam PVC lettering would detract from the visual amenities of the area, including the Conservation Area, and of the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building.
The Committee noted this was a retrospective application and the work that had been completed was of a poor standard.
6 MW.0011/14 – To extend the period for the extraction of sand to 31 December 2020 and the completion of restoration to 31 December 2022; and to remove the requirement to install ground markers around the sand extraction site boundary at Moorend Lane Farm, Moorend Lane.
Having received a detailed explanation of work being carried out on the site and the reason for the request to extend the time period for extraction of sand Members had no objection to the application.
7 R3.0030/15 – John Hampden County Primary School, Park Street
Planning application by Oxfordshire County Council for planning permission for the erection of a single storey building to provide 2 new classrooms, accompanied by the necessary ancillary accommodation; toilets/cloaks, storage and resource areas, 1:1 room, cleaners store and a plant room.  4 new parking and a new path to the front and around the new proposal are proposed for the external works.
Members were of the mind that the proposal to provide two new classrooms and associated work contained within the application would provide much needed space at the school and had no objection to the application.
Hopton Road
Following the removal of the maple tree in 2014 concerned had been raised by residents regarding the size of the two remaining maple trees.  After discussion is was agreed that the two maple trees be removed and replaced with two trees that would be appropriate for the area and planted in a central position on the green.
i) Full Council agree to fell and stump grind the two remaining Maple trees at a cost of £1,350 from the General Fund.
ii) Two trees, suitable for the area, be planted centrally on the green.
9 Tree Grilles
The proposal to install tree grilles around the base of the trees in the Upper High Street was considered.  Members agreed that the tree grilles would greatly improve the area and that the Council should match fund the grant received from the District Council’s Capital Infrastructure Fund to enable the project to proceed.
i) Full Council agree to support the project and that £7,690 be released from the Capital Rolling Fund.
10 Oil Buying Club
A request had been received from the Oil Buying Club to provide a presentation on a new venture to help people in rural communities to reduce the cost of heating their homes by oil.
After consideration it was agreed that the presentation made at an open meeting and an invitation be sent to surrounding Parishes.
11 Green Living Plan
A proposal had been received from the Thame RSA to take the Green Living Plan (GLP) forward.  The aim of the GLP would be to bring together new and existing projects and initiatives and provide a co-ordinated approach to sustainable living in the Town.
i) The Thame RSA be invited to take the Green Living Plan forward and report back to this Committee on a regular basis.
12 Bus Shelters
Members felt the proposal for advertisements to be placed in the bus shelters in the town inappropriate for the Conservation Area.
i) The proposal be refused.
13 Angus Court
The names suggested for the two apartment blocks at Angus Court, Welles House and Alexandra House were considered appropriate for the development.
14 Reports from Town Council Representatives
a) Transport Representative – Cllr Stiles reported that she was seeking clarification of the minutes of the meeting held in January regarding the number 40 bus service and would report back to the next meeting.
15 For Information
The items for information were noted.
The meeting concluded at 7.25pm
Signed ………………………..
Chairman, 10 March 2015