Thame takes ‘positive step forward’ after neighbourhood plan is submitted

A10 Week 08'MCBH'DP'View, High Street, Thame, looking towards Thame Town Hall
A10 Week 08'MCBH'DP'View, High Street, Thame, looking towards Thame Town Hall

Residents in Thame are now one step closer to influencing the location and nature of future developments in their town.

Thame Town Council has now submitted its Neighbourhood Development Plan to South Oxfordshire District Council.

The plan, which has undergone a six week consultation, will be formally published by the district council on Friday 7 December for a period of seven weeks.

The plan has offered residents the chance to offer their views on strategies for employment, open spaces, leisure facilities and every aspect of development, including the locating of 775 houses, in Thame over the next 15 years.

The district council plans to appoint an examiner before Christmas, who will then assess the submitted plan in early 2013.

The examiner will then issue a report and if it passes the tests, the District Council will organise a local referendum on the plan.

If the residents of Thame vote in favour, the plan will be adopted and become part of the district council’s development plan, used when determining planning applications.

This is one of the first neighbourhood plans in the country to identify sites for future housing, retail and employment development and the first in South Oxfordshire to reach this stage.

Thame was awarded front runner status after the government introduced neighbourhood development plans as a part of the 2011 Localism Act.

South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning cabinet member, Angie Paterson said: “This is a positive step forward in the and it’s good news that it has reached this stage.

“This is an important stage as residents can make their views known to the examiner.

“If and when its adopted it will shape the future of the town and underpin planning decisions made for it.”