Plans submitted for 814 new homes in Thame

MCBT Thame core strategy plan F
MCBT Thame core strategy plan F

A PROPOSAL to build 814 new houses in Thame has been submitted as part of the Core Strategy - 284 more than was put forward in November.

The existing Site F will hold 70 of the extra houses, while the other 214 will be allocated adjacent to where Lord Williams’s Lower School currently stands.

But the new figures make worrying reading for the town’s mayor David Bretherton, who has questioned if Thame can support the influx of homes.

He said: “I think the amount of houses is a bit disappointing as I don’t think we have the infrastructure in the town to support that so we will have to work hard and get that infrastructure in place.

“We have to get the education system right and make sure the roads can support it. We also need extra parking in the town and improved shopping to keep them in the town.”

Planners believe this is the best way forward for Thame, after Oxfordshire County Council gave the go ahead to include the school site.

The new proposal was put together after the plan to build 530 houses was rejected by the inspector for including windfall sites – houses that are naturally expected to be built in the timeframe.

District council cabinet member for planning Angie Paterson said: “We are disappointed we couldn’t take the windfall as planned but now the possibility the school site has come forward helps enormously.

“This new number is the figure agreed and we can’t change that as you can’t ignore the fact there is a housing need.

“There are people who want homes and we need to make provisions.”

There is now a nervous wait for the plans to pass a scrutiny meeting and a full district council meeting.

Rejection would mean planners will no longer be able to meet their deadline.

Councillor Paterson said: “If it doesn’t go through we won’t be able to put forward a Core Strategy by the March deadline and will be in danger of being susceptible to other building as we have no plan in place.

“If we delay or fail we don’t have a plan and Thame could find all the sites being built on.”