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Decision on The Elms

In February this year a planning application on land behind The Elms, Upper High Street Thame, for 78 high-end homes with care for older people was refused permission by the District Council.  This land is allocated in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan for “up to” 45 mixed homes and has had permission for 37 homes since August of 2015, of which some 14 are affordable homes.  The applicants Rectory Homes Limited and FirstPort Retirement Property Services Limited appealed against the District Council’s decision.

Following a public inquiry, the Planning Inspector appointed to decide the appeal announced on 21 October 2019 that he agreed with the Town and District Councils, and did not grant approval.  The Inspector gave several reasons for refusing the grant of planning permission, many of which were based on policies contained within the Thame Neighbourhood Plan.

  • The applicant had argued that their proposed scheme was providing residences with an element of care aimed at meeting the needs of older people.  The Inspector found that the homes were not sufficiently distinguishable from normal homes, and that this argument could not be applied.
  • As the Inspector found that the 78 dwellings were homes the scheme was immediately contrary to the allocation of the land in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan, which is for no more than 45 homes.
  • The proposed scheme would have been harmful to the Thame Conservation Area, and the setting of The Elms listed building.
  • There was no evidence to suggest that affordable housing could not be provided on-site, although none was offered.  A financial offer to help provide affordable homes elsewhere was deemed inadequate as the applicant had linked the quantity offered to that of the original, 37-home scheme, while seeking 78 homes.
  • The proposed homes would not provide a mixed community on the site, contrary to the Neighbourhood Plan, and other planning policy and guidance.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the above planning applications do not refer to land at Elms Park, the public park next to John Hampden Primary and Nursery Schools

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all-day Thame Youth Projects: Half Term ... @ Guide Hut Rec Ground
Thame Youth Projects: Half Term ... @ Guide Hut Rec Ground
Feb 19 all-day
Thame Youth Projects: Half Term Activity Day @ Guide Hut Rec Ground
Street dance workshop from Urban Strides Circus skills workshop from Circus All Stars Ultimate gaming experience with GamezBus Cooking workshops Crafts Make your own pizza Film night
9:15 am Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Thame Town Hall
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Thame Town Hall
Feb 19 @ 9:15 am – 10:00 am
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Thame Town Hall
Lee has spent over 25 years in the sports and fitness industry. Working with a range of different age groups from young groups to the over 50’s, both in groups or 1-2-1 classes. Lee has worked in gyms, fitness centres both for the county council and privately owned. She has also worked with a large franchise group in the past, dealing with people’s fitness and nutrition. Helping people to achieve weight loss, toning, fitness and personal development.   Having worked across a number of different exercise disciplines in the past, over the last 10 years her focus has moved to Pilates in order to develop core strength, toning for her clients.  Classes are mat based and tailored to individual needs. Each class has different ability…

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10:00 am Thame Youth Projects: Half Term ... @ Guide HQ on Southern Road
Thame Youth Projects: Half Term ... @ Guide HQ on Southern Road
Feb 19 @ 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Thame Youth Projects: Half Term Activity Day @ Guide HQ on Southern Road
Running from 10.00am – 9.00pm this FREE event for 12 – 18 year olds is being held on Wednesday 19 February at the Guide HQ on Southern Road. Various craft activities will be available all day together with other activities and workshops in the evening – further info to follow. No need to book; just turn up!
2:00 pm Naturtastic @ Thame Museum
Naturtastic @ Thame Museum
Feb 19 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Naturtastic @ Thame Museum
Join the nature hunt Build a better bird feeder Make your own butterfly life cycle
6:00 pm Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Feb 19 @ 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm
Lee Caulfield Pilates Workouts @ Pine Lodge, Little Milton, OX44 7PZ
Lee has spent over 25 years in the sports and fitness industry. Working with a range of different age groups from young groups to the over 50’s, both in groups or 1-2-1 classes. Lee has worked in gyms, fitness centres both for the county council and privately owned. She has also worked with a large franchise group in the past, dealing with people’s fitness and nutrition. Helping people to achieve weight loss, toning, fitness and personal development. Having worked across a number of different exercise disciplines in the past, over the last 10 years her focus has moved to Pilates in order to develop core strength, toning for her clients.   Classes are mat based and tailored to individual needs. Each class has different ability…

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