Choosing how our Thame will look in the future

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THAME has been chosen as one of the first areas in the country to test-run plans designed to give more power to residents.

Residents will produce Neighbourhood Plans under new legislation being introduced as part of the much-hyped Localism Bill.

So-called neighbourhood planning will give people an opportunity to decide how development will look in their area. Plans should be in line with the local planning authority’s core strategy and can include preferred locations for housing, shops, offices and schools.

Thame is among 36 areas in the country that have been picked to pilot the scheme. South Oxfordshire District Council will receive a grant of £40,000 to support the areas in preparing their neighbourhood plans.

If more than 50 per cent of people support the plans then the planning authority will have to bring it into force.

Councillor Angie Paterson, cabinet member for planning, said: “The aim of the government’s front-runners scheme is to work with a small number of communities so that we can identify all the issues involved in putting these plans in place so we are better prepared to help other communities when the Localism Bill becomes law.”