Minister in town ahead of crucial development vote

Nick Boles during visit to Thame
Nick Boles during visit to Thame

A top Government official is to visit Thame as it prepares to be the first town in the country to vote on its development plan.

Planning minister Nick Boles MP will visit on April 27 ahead of the neighbourhood plan referendum.

The minister will join Mayor of Thame Nigel Champken-Woods for a walkabout between midday and 2pm to visit shops and businesses in the area.

The 15-year plan sets out how 775 homes, employment sites and other facilities could be developed.

Mr Boles said: “Neighbourhood planning is an incredibly important new right and one that provides a real opportunity for people to bring about the homes, shops and facilities they want to see to make their community thrive.”

The plan has already been approved by an independent examiner and people will now have the final say on whether it goes ahead.

If more than 50% vote ‘yes’ in the May 2 referendum, South Oxfordshire District Council will use the plan to help it decide on planning applications for Thame.

Mr Champken-Woods said: “Local people are being given the opportunity to vote on a plan that has been put together by the community. It is giving Thame a say in what happens in the local area rather than a plan that has been developed to serve the whole district.”