21 December 2021 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 21 December 2021 at 6:30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


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


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


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllrs Deacock (business), Dodds (personal), Emery (personal), and Richards (personal).


2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest.


3 Public Participation and Public Questions

Mr Jake Collinge spoke as the agent for planning application P21/S3586/FUL. The application as presented now had been subject to various amendments following discussions with South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC). Whilst SODC accepted the principle of infill development on this site, they had requested a reduction in footprint and changes to the design, so the proposed dwelling would sit better in the landscape. The application had received no objections from County Highways, or the District’s Tree, Countryside, Archaeology and Drainage Officers. The amendments have been designed to protect neighbour’s amenity.

A question was raised as to whether the proposal impacted on Moreton’s footpaths? Mr Collinge advised that it would not. There had been concerns relating to the views of the site from existing footpaths.

Members then discussed and made a recommendation regarding P21/S3586/FUL – Amendment No.1.

Mr Collinge then spoke in relation to Agenda Item 7 – Tree Preservation Order No. 21S19. This related to the planning application at Land North of Rycote Lane which Mr Collinge is the agent for. The site, next to Gregory’s Distribution, has outline permission for commercial development with the means of access and off-site highways works approved. Prior to submission of the Reserved Matters application, County Highways advised that the approved outline scheme compromised safety at the Western access point and requested that Rycote Lane be moved 1metre southwards. This resulted in a planning application in March however it has since transpired that the District’s Tree Officer is concerned about the impact of this on seven oak trees on the southern verge of Rycote Lane. As such the Tree Officer has now placed a Tree Preservation Order on these trees. This has created a difficult situation balancing the risk to the trees against highways safety advice. Mr Collinge advised that he and his clients were trying to resolve this between the respective Officers at District and County, however this was adding additional costs. Mr Collinge felt it was important the Town Council were given clarification and context on this matter.

A question was raised as to whether the highways could be moved northwards to remove concerns relating to the trees? Mr. Collinge advised that the positioning of the road and proposed pedestrian island had been considered the optimum position following various safety audits that satisfied County Highways.

Mr. Collinge confirmed that no trees would be removed in any circumstances. The moving of the road and footway southwards was at the request of County Highways which would see a 15% incursion within the Root Protection Areas of the oak trees, which the client’s arboriculturist considered acceptable but the District’s Tree Officer did not, and therefore the issue was a difference in professional opinion.

Members then discussed and made a recommendation regarding Agenda Item 7 – Tree Preservation Order No. 21S19.


4 Minutes

The Minutes of the Committee Meeting held on 30 November 2021 were confirmed as a correct record, and were signed by the Chairman.


5 Planning Applications


Erection of a detached dwelling with access, parking and amenity space (contaminated land questionnaire received 9th September 2021 and additional biodiversity information received 15th October 2021) and footprint reduced and position and design of dwelling altered as shown on amended plans received 30th November 2021)


      • Subject to Permitted Development rights being removed, given the site’s sensitivity.

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, DES6, DES7, DES8, ENV1, ENV5, EP3, H3, H12, H16, INF1, STRAT1, TH1, TRANS2, TRANS5


The erection of five dwellings alongside a new access, landscaping and other associated works.


      • The proposal is contrary to Thame Neighbourhood Plan (TNP) Policy H5 and South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 Policy H16 as it does not meet the definition of infill in an “other” village;
      • In undermining the contribution to the setting of the Moreton Conservation Area, the scheme is contrary to TNP Policies ESDQ15, ESDQ16, Local Plan Policy ENV6, and NPPF paragraphs 194 and 199;
      • The scheme fails in proposing development in a location that will fail to reduce the need to rely on use of private cars.

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ20, ESDQ27, H5, H9, H10
SODC Local Plan Policies: DES10, ENV6, H16


6 Notification of Appeal – APP/Q3115/W/21/3275986

It was noted that Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer (NPCO) and Market Town Co-Ordinator have supported District officers in their response to the appeal.


7 Tree Preservation Order – No. 21S19

In light of the information presented earlier in the meeting, Members recognised the difficulties faced by the developer given the importance of protecting the trees whilst also ensuring highways safety. However, it was felt that this was a matter to be resolved between the developer and relevant authorities.


  1. The Town Council makes no comment on the Tree Preservation Order No. 21S19.


8 Premises Licence Application – LAPREM/15804/21

It was noted that, following the Town Council’s concerns regarding possible noise disturbance, the District Council have advised that the business is a third-party fulfilment house who dispatch other company’s stock (including alcohol) to their customers via a courier. No alcohol is consumed or sold on site, and the site is not open to the public.

The statutory consultation period ended 17th December 2021 and therefore, in discussion with the Chair of this committee, it was noted that the Town Council has submitted no objections to this application.


9 For Information

The items for information were noted.

The Chairman noted that the Town Council was not pleased with the planning decision at Park Meadow Cottage.


The meeting concluded at 7:21pm.


Signed ……………………..

Chairman, 11 January 2022