The Thame Neighbourhood Plan Proposal has been prepared and submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council for examination – it is only the third neighbourhood plan to have reached this stage.
Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design was appointed by Thame Town Council to work with it and local people to develop the plan – one of the government’s ‘front runners’ – which contains some very significant policies, including allocating land for 775 new homes and planning for retail growth to support the town centre.
Sue Rowlands, Director, said: “The progress of this plan through to examination stage is very positive. Working in partnership with Thame Town Council we have taken great care to really get to grips with local issues and incorporate a lot of input from people and groups in the town, while ensuring that the submission itself takes a robust approach that meets government guidance. The next stage is vital, however, and we look forward to South Oxfordshire District Council’s response in the New Year.”
The quality of the approach has been recognised by the National Trust in its planning blog:
“More important than numbers, perhaps, is the way they’ve made every effort to talk to a broad range of people in an extremely thorough way, and genuinely listen to their opinions. It’s always going to be hard to engage busy people with families and jobs at the top of their minds, but the Thame Town Plan Group have shown what can be achieved by making participation easy, accessible, fun and fruitful.”
The submission follows the six week statutory consultation period and takes into account the representations made during this period. As required by the 2012 Neighbourhood Planning Regulations 2012, it consists of a Basic Conditions Statement which contains:
- a Plan and Statement identifying the area for the Neighbourhood Development Plan;
- the Proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan; and
- a Consultation Statement.
South Oxfordshire District Council’s consultation will run until 24 January 2013.