5 November 2019 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee held on 5 November 2019 at 6:30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.

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

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

1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Midwinter (Council Business).

2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

Cllr Emery declared an interest in Planning Application P19/S3286/HH as a relative of the applicant.

Cllrs Emery and Gregory declared an interest in Planning Application P19/S3031/HH as they both live on the estate near 9 Sycamore Drive. Cllr Wyse declared an interest in Planning Application P19/S3000/FUL as his property backed onto Moats Crescent. The Chairman confirmed that these interests would not preclude Members from discussing or voting on these applications.

3 Public Participation and Public Questions

Mr Spragg spoke on behalf of the applicant for Planning Application P19/S3000/FUL. The Town Council had raised no objection to the previous application for a two-storey dwelling on the site of 6.5m in height. This application had reduced the height and removed the dormer windows from the original application, which were some of the grounds for the Town Council’s original objection.

The current application is for a bungalow with a further reduced height from 6.5m to 4m, which would be 4m lower than the houses either side of it. The bungalow would be well set back from 10 Moats Crescent and would be partly obscured by 11 Moats Crescent. The height, design and position of the building are no different to the outbuilding which was recently granted permitted development rights. The Town Council had previously expressed concern about the impact on the existing property at 10 Moats Crescent, but the current application addresses that by reducing the height by 2.5m. Cllr Wyse had raised concern to SODC regarding the impact of flooding on Ludsden Grove. Mr Spragg stated the site is not in a flood area, and there is currently 160m2 of existing non-permeable hard-standing on the site. The proposal is to remove the outbuilding and hardstanding concrete and replace it with permeable surfacing for the bungalow. Mr Spragg reported that bungalows are in short supply in Thame, and this location is within walking distance of the town centre.

Mr Chainani, a resident of Moats Crescent, spoke against Planning Application P19/S3000/FUL. He asked members to consider the application from four perspectives: residents, South Oxfordshire District Council, the Government’s Inspector and the Developer. Residents had raised 18 objections since the original application was submitted in December. SODC had objected to the previous two applications due to it being an incongruous background development and out of character due to its location. The Inspector would have to consider this approach to development as setting a precedent and Mr Chainani gave example of an example of an Inspector not permitting a similar proposal. Even though the plans are identical, there are differences between an outbuilding and a house but the applicant in this case is claiming them to be the same. Finally, the developer states that bungalows are in high demand however SODC have met their 5 year land supply so an extra dwelling is unlikely to make a difference. The views of residents, the planning authority and the Inspector should outweigh the views of one developer.

Members then discussed and agreed a recommendation on Planning Application P19/S3000/FUL.

4 Minutes
The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 October 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5 Planning Applications

Erection of bungalow following demolition of garage.

  1. Poor design
  2. Out of character
  3. Poor quality of living environment for future occupiers
  4. Impact on neighbouring amenity

Neighbourhood Plan Policies: H5, H6, H7, H9, GA6, ESDQ11, ESDQ12, ESDQ13, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ19, ESDQ26, ESDQ27, ESDQ28, ESDQ29, D1
SODC Local Plan Policies: D1, D2, D3, D4, D10, G5, H4, T1, T2
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ2, CSQ3

Conversion and alteration of double garage to form an office.
NO OBJECTIONS plus comments
Subject to No Objections from the District Conservation Officer.
The committee expressed concern about bin storage and provision for the proposed office.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: W5, ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ17, ESDQ19, ESDQ20, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: CON7, D1, D2, D4, D10, T1, T2
Core Strategy Policies: CS1, CSTHA1, CSQ3, CSEM4, CSEN3

Alter/replace existing conservatory to form garden room with tiled roof and new window and doors.
NO OBJECTIONS plus comment
Subject to No Objections from the District Conservation Officer.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ15, ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ21, ESDQ22
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, C1, C4, C9, CON7, D1, D4
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3, CSEN3

Replacement with a rear/side single storey extension.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ28
SODC Local Plan Policies: G5, G6, D1, D3, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3

Erection of single storey and two storey extensions to the front, side and rear, incorporating rear first floor terrace.
NO OBJECTIONS plus comment
Subject to the rear balcony complying with the 45 degree rule.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ28
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, D1, D3, D4, H13
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3

Proposed garage conversion, fenestration alterations and hard landscaping amendments.
NO OBJECTIONS plus comments
Subject to the converted detached garage not being used for residential accommodation and the use remaining ancillary to the dwelling in perpetuity.
The committee regrets the loss of the garage for its original purpose.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16, ESDQ19, ESDQ29
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, D1, D2, D4, T1, T2
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3

Proposed retention and continued use of prefabricated classroom unit T1 (E177) for a further temporary period of five years.
NO OBJECTIONS plus comment
The committee regretted the continued use of temporary buildings rather than investing in the provision of permanent classrooms.
Neighbourhood Plan Policies: ESDQ16
SODC Local Plan Policies: G6, D1, D11, T2
Core Strategy Policies: CSQ3, CSI1

6 BT Payphone Kiosk Removal Consultation

After some discussion regarding the payphone boxes at Churchill Crescent, Thame, and Moreton Road, Moreton, Members concluded that they had no strong views. However it was decided that the community should be consulted via the Town Council’s weekly e-newsletter, and the Town Council would respond to the consultation accordingly.

7 Proposed Stopping Up of Highway at 29 Roundhead Drive

The Town Council had previously objected to the planning application which sought to change this land from public open space to private land. SODC have since granted permission through Officer’s delegated powers, and OCC have expressed no objections. Whilst members continued to regret the loss of public open space which had been designed into the Lea Park estate, it was noted that the area at present was not effectively utilised. The committee saw little benefit in objecting to the Order.

8 Reports from Town Council Representatives

a)    Transport Representative – Members noted the report. Cllr Francis reported that she had attended the Parish Transport Representatives meeting on 29 October 2019 and the report summarised this meeting. Cllr Francis reported that she is escalating concerns and complaints regarding the recent poor Arriva 280 bus service via a contact at the Arriva depot, who will be launching an official investigation.

9 For Information

The items for information were noted.


The meeting concluded at 7:33pm.



Signed ……………………..

Chairman, 26 November 2019