Time to decide town’s future

Thame Town Hall and High Street
Thame Town Hall and High Street

A PLAN has been drawn up to help Thame residents take part in deciding how their town will develop.

Last week it was announced that Thame had been chosen as one of the first areas in the country to test-run so-called neighbourhood plans, where the public has more of a say in planning.

Now Thame Town Council has asked two companies to work with the whole community in the next stage of the process.

The council has agreed that a neighbourhood plan is essential to influence the shape of the town during the next 20 years and has appointed Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design to work with the community.

The purpose of a neighbourhood plan is to give people greater ownership of the plans and policies that affect Thame.

It will identify the specific site or broad location, and specify the form, size, type and design of new development.

The intention is to ‘empower’ the public to take a proactive role in shaping the future of their neighbourhood. Once in place, it will comprise the framework for change in the area for the next 20 years.

Town clerk Helen Stewart said: “Thame Town Council is a very ambitious and extremely competent council that readily takes on the challenges facing the community it serves.

“Its neighbourhood plan will provide the strategic foundations that will serve Thame for the next 20 years.

“The plan will assist in providing the town with a sustainable development programme whilst retaining its historic character”.

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.”

For further information contact Thame Town Council: 01844 212833, email oss@thametowncouncil.gov.uk