People to have a say on Core Strategy

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THAME’S Core Strategy could be changed yet again to accommodate the views of the town’s people through a neighbourhood plan.

This week the town council employed Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design to begin setting up the plan, which would see the people of the Thame decide how their town develops in the next 25 years.

It follows the assumption that the Localism Bill will be passed in parliament later this year, allowing more say to the general public.

At present, the core strategy would see 600 homes being built on Site F, opposite Lord Williams’s Upper School, with the positioning of the remaining 175 up for discussion.

But Thame’s council is now fighting for all 775 houses not to be allocated a specific site so that the public can decide the best place for them to go.

Clerk Helen Stewart said: “The district council is looking to put 600 houses on site F and then is happy to leave 175 for the town to see where they are put but the town council will be looking to leave all 775 to the town.

“In affect we will be doing our part of the core strategy, not just with the housing by the whole development of the town. It will also be for any future development of the town right up until 2027.”

The news will come as a boost to campaign group Towersey Road Neighbourhood Association which was set up in protest to the lack of consultation given to the public.

All proposals would have to include the 775 houses as any decision made needs to fit in with the overall core strategy put forward by the district council.

Helen said: “The aim of this is to comply with the core strategy but also give the local community more say about where it goes and how it is carried out.”

It is expected that the public can start having their say in September when there will be wide consultation and also consultation festivals so that everybody can voice their opinion.

A referendum will then be set up for the proposals and if 50 per cent of people vote in favour of the plans the district council will take it on.

The core strategy is currently being looked at by the inspector.

To register an interest in getting involved, email your details to the town council at oss@thametowncouncil.gov.uk or contact the town hall on 01844 212833.