‘Talk to us if you’re changing our town’

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RESIDENTS close to Lord Williams’s Lower School have set up an action group to press home their concerns over the Core Strategy.

The group say they are angry at the district council for not consulting with them on the possible demolition of the school and have sent out the message ‘talk to us if you are going to change our town’.

Bob Austin, who was elected chair of the Towersey Road Neighbourhood Association. said: “We can cope with change but what we don’t like is being surprised. There is no excuse for them not telling us in detail about what will be affecting our lives.

“We want to be consulted about the objectives for the site and at the moment we are not convinced by what is happening. We believe there are much better alternatives.”

Mr Austin was referring to Site C and D, at Thame Park Road and Moretan Lane respectively, both of which have the capacity to hold all of the 775 houses but have already been dismissed as possible alternatives.

The newly-founded group have made it clear that they are not against development in the town, but simply want to make sure the district council take forward the best idea for Thame.

Mr Austin said: “The last thing we want is to be NIMBYs but if we are to make sacrifices we want to know it is worthwhile.

“We made a deliberate decision not be an anti-Lord Williams’s School group because we felt it was a stupid NIMBY approach to take but what we are about is if you are going to be disrupting our lives, we need to be sure that it is the right thing to do.”

The current plan is for 600 houses to be built on Site F, opposite the upper school, with an option to build the remaining 175 houses where the lower school now stands.

A decision has not yet been finalised but the proposal has been put forward by both Oxfordshire County Council and Lord Williams’s School.

In response, the district council said: “At present the possibility of the use of lower school site is one of a range of options that will be considered as part of the site allocations development plan document, if it is available.

“At that stage we will look to fully consult the community on options with support from the relevant town and parish councils. This includes any residents’ groups known to us.”