P22/S2416/FUL and P22/S2417/LB












Pieter-Paul Barker

Kate Gregory

David Bretherton



Mrs Astrid Kelly



Town Farm 8 Oxford Road Thame, OX9 2AH



Following previous renovation works to No.8 to create No.6, formal approval required for No.6 to be a separate dwelling.



Tom Wyatt






These applications are referred to Planning Committee at the request of Councillor David Bretherton.  Furthermore, the Officers’ recommendation to approve the applications is contrary to the Town Council’s views. 



The application site, as shown on the OS extract attached as Appendix A, comprises a Grade II listed building within Thame Conservation Area.  The listing description of the building is as follows:


Farmhouse. Early C17. Lined render, probably on timber framing; old plain-tile roof, hipped to left, half-hipped to right; brick ridge stack to centre, with C19 raising. Probably 4-unit lobby-entry plan. 2-storey, 4-window range. C19 painted-brick gabled porch to centre with 4-panel door. 16-pane unhorned sash to right of centre, 16-pane unhorned sash to left of centre. 6-pane window to right. 3-light wood casements to first floor left and right. 16-pane horned sash to first floor left of centre. 16-pane unhorned sash to right of centre. Single-pane window to centre. Rear: timber-framed cross-wing to right. Interior not inspected. Single-storey extension, possibly former animal house, to right.



Planning permission was granted under application P14/S2917/FUL for extensions to the property, and the conversion of a former store to living accommodation to create a self-contained annex.  The approved changes to the internal layout of the building are illustrated on the plans below.















This planning permission was granted subject to the following condition:


The annex hereby permitted shall not be occupied at any time other than for purposes ancillary to the residential use of the dwelling known as Town Farmhouse.

Reason: As the separate occupation of the accommodation would represent an undesirable sub-division of the property and result in inadequate standards of amenity and privacy in accordance with Policy H4 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011.



The above planning permission was implemented, and this current planning application seeks permission to change the use of the annex to an independent one-bedroom property following the layout of the annex as shown on the plans above, and no further alterations are required.  Copies of the proposed plans are attached as Appendix B and other documentation associated with the application can be viewed on the council’s website,





Thame Town Council – Objects for the following reasons:

·         Subdivision of the Listed Building.

·         Inadequate provision of private outdoor amenity space.

·         Poor highways safety


Highways Liaison Officer (Oxfordshire County Council) - The parking space allocated for the proposal does not provide visibility splays either for

pedestrian awareness or vehicular which is likely to impact upon safety of other users of the private drive.


Conservation Officer - There will be no direct impact to the fabric of the listed building as a result of this proposal. Whilst the two parts of the house have been used independently for some time, the annex relationship allows for shared use of the limited external ancillary space. I am concerned that the very limited garden ancillary space available for No.6 would put the building at risk. Listed Buildings do come with an inherent additional expense of higher maintenance costs due to both the age of the fabric and requirements to use traditional materials in their repair. I am concerned that such small ancillary space could make the building unviable as an independent unit or put pressure on it to extend in some way.


Thame Conservation Area Advisory Committee - Objects





P21/S3639/FUL - Withdrawn (05/04/2022)

Change of use from ancillary annexe to self-contained 1-bedroom dwelling and subdivision of plot to form of separate curtilage.


P14/S2920/LB - Approved (10/12/2014)

Restoration and repair the farmhouse.  The erection of a conservatory, a wraparound rear porch, the removal of uneven level in driveway and block pave, to incorporate storeroom into living accommodation and restore, to create two bedrooms with en-suite for use as B&B.


P14/S2917/FUL - Approved (10/12/2014)

The erection of a conservatory and a wraparound rear porch. Removal of uneven level in driveway and replacement with block paving.  Conversion of storeroom into living accommodation and incorporation to existing dwelling to create a self-contained annex.  Change of use of two bedrooms for use as B&B.





Not applicable for this scale and nature of development.





Development Plan Policies




South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 (SOLP) Policies:

DES1  -  Delivering High Quality Development

DES2  -  Enhancing Local Character

DES5  -  Outdoor Amenity Space

DES6  -  Residential Amenity

DES8  -  Promoting Sustainable Design

ENV6  -  Historic Environment

ENV8  -  Conservation Areas

ENV7  -  Listed Buildings

H1  -  Delivering New Homes

H17  -  Sub-division and Conversion to Multiple Occupation

STRAT1  -  The Overall Strategy

TRANS5  -  Consideration of Development Proposals



Thame Neighbourhood Plan (TNP) Policies:

H6 - Design new development to be of high quality

GA6 - New development to provide parking on site for occupants and visitors

ESDQ16 - Development must relate well to its site and its surroundings

ESDQ17 - Development must make a positive contribution towards the distinctive character of the town as a whole

ESDQ20 - Building style must be appropriate to the historic context

ESDQ26 - Design new buildings to reflect the three-dimensional qualities of traditional buildings

ESDQ28 - Provide good quality private outdoor space

ESDQ29 - Design car parking so that it fits in with the character of the proposed development




Supplementary Planning Guidance/Documents


South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse Joint Design Guide 2022



National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (PLBCAA)



Other Relevant Legislation


Human Rights Act 1998

The provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 have been taken into account in the processing of the application and the preparation of this report.



Equality Act 2010

In determining this planning application the Council has regard to its equalities obligations including its obligations under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.







The relevant planning considerations are the following:


•           Principle of the development

•           Impact on the listed building

•           Impact on the character and appearance of the site and surrounding area

•           Residential amenity

•           Access and Parking

•           Other material planning considerations



Principle of development


The site is located in a sustainable location within Thame, and the principle of additional housing development is acceptable having regard to Policy H1 of the SOLP.  Furthermore, Policy H17 of the SOLP allows for the sub-division and conversion of existing dwellings to multiple occupation provided that the development would not harm the amenity of the occupants of nearby properties and is appropriate in terms of the size of the property and the proposed internal layout, access, private amenity space and car parking provision.  These issues are considered below.



Impact on the Listed Building


Sections 16 and 66 of the PLBCAA states that in considering whether to grant listed building consent and planning permission for development which affects a listed building or its setting, the local planning authority or, as the case may be, the Secretary of State shall have special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses.  This duty is translated through the NPPF and Policy ENV7 of the SOLP. 



The internal alterations to facilitate the proposed separate unit have already been carried out pursuant to applications P14/S2917/FUL and P14/S2920/LB.  The planning statement submitted with the application confirms that no changes to the internal fabric of the building are required to facilitate the formation of an independent dwelling, and the Conservation Officer has raised no objections to the proposal on this basis.  As such the architectural and historic interest of the building would be preserved through this proposal.  The Conservation Officer has raised a concern that the separate unit could be unviable due to the small garden space to be provided and that this could result in pressure for the building to be extended.  Any proposed extension to the building would require listed building consent and this would be subject to consideration on its own merits.  The garden will be small but the unit would only have one bedroom and is likely to be occupied by a single person or couple only.  Any person purchasing or renting the dwelling would be very aware of the small garden area and I do not consider that this is a significant concern in the context of the viability and future preservation of the listed building.   




Impact on the Character and Appearance of the Site and Surrounding Area


The site lies in a visually prominent position fronting Oxford Road and is within the Thame Conservation Area.  Policy ENV8 of the SOLP reflects the duty at Section 72 of the PLBCAA and the NPPF in relation to seeking that development conserves or enhances its special interest, character, setting, and appearance.



The proposal would not alter the external appearance of the existing building in any significant way and the listed building would still maintain its appearance and integrity as a singular historic structure.  The only external changes would be to the curtilage of the building in relation to the formation of separate garden and parking areas for the new dwelling.  The front elevation is very prominent from Oxford Road and it is very important that any boundary treatment in connection with the separate garden to the front is very discreet so as not to detract from the integrity of the front elevation of the building as a whole and the wider Thame Conservation Area.  A condition requiring boundary treatments to be agreed is outlined in the recommendation below.  The small separate garden and parking areas to the rear would not be harmfully apparent from any key public vantage points and would be viewed in the context of the existing parking and access arrangements for the building as it currently exists. 



Residential Amenity


Policy DES6 of the SOLP seeks to ensure that development proposals do not result in significant adverse impacts on the amenity of neighbouring uses through such factors as loss of privacy, daylight or sunlight; dominance or visual intrusion; and noise or vibration.  The internal works to facilitate the change of use have already been carried out to facilitate the annex use.  The proposed dwelling would occupy the eastern end of the building and its outlook would not cause loss of privacy to the retained dwelling or other dwellings in the vicinity.  No external works are proposed that could result in loss of light or outlook. 



Policy DES5 seeks to ensure that sufficient private outdoor space is provided for new dwellings.  The Policy states that, ‘the amount of land that should be provided for the garden or amenity space will be determined by the size of the dwelling proposed and by the character of surrounding development. Private outdoor sitting areas should not be overlooked by adjacent habitable rooms. They should also not be compromised by shading from buildings or shading, leaf litter and anxiety of established significant trees and hedges that would lead to future pressure to prune or remove these landscape features’.  Guidance within the JDG seeks to ensure that a garden area of at least 40 square metres is provided for a one-bedroom dwelling.



The proposed garden areas for the dwelling are alongside the front and rear elevations, and amount to slightly over 40 square metres of reasonable quality useable garden space.  The garden space to the front (south) elevation of building would be alongside Oxford Road and whilst it would be south facing it would be exposed to noise and views from Oxford Road, however, the smaller garden area on the north side of the building would be more private and quieter and overall, Officers consider that the balance of the garden areas proposed would provide sufficient outdoor amenity space for the one bedroom unit.  The site is also within easy walking distance of Thame’s areas of public open space and other amenities. 



Access and parking

Policy TRANS5 of the SOLP relates to highway safety and convenience and seeks to ensure that a safe and convenient access is provided for new development along with sufficient parking provision.  The proposal would not change the access arrangements into the site and parking provision is made for one parking space to the rear (north) of the proposed dwelling.

























The Highway Liaison Officer has objected due to the lack of visibility splays at the access.  Having visited the site it is clear that the proposed parking space would not obstruct access for the main dwelling.  The access arrangements are not being altered and are constrained by the presence of listed buildings either side as shown below.




The access into the site is via the private drive shown above and I would expect traffic movements along this drive to be low in number and speed.  Therefore, any lack of visibility at the entrance to the site along this private drive would be unlikely to cause any significant highway safety risk in my opinion.  I am also mindful that the application site already has permission to be used as a self-contained annex with associated separate parking and vehicle movements from the main part of the dwelling. In my view the highway safety issues would not be materially different between an annex use and an independent dwelling.  The reason for the condition as stated in Paragraph 1.4 above requiring the use of the unit as an annex does not refer to any issues relating to highway safety, and there are no restrictions on where users of the annex can park.



Other material planning considerations


Policy DES8 of the SOLP aims to ensure that all new development, including building conversions, refurbishments and extensions, should seek to minimise the carbon and energy impacts of their design and construction.  In this case the building is already in residential use as a self-contained annex and there is insufficient justification, particularly being mindful of the listed status of the building, to require energy efficiency and carbon reducing measures as part of the proposal. 



Community Infrastructure Levy

There is no CIL liability as there is no change in floorspace proposed.






The planning permission granted under application P14/S2917/FUL has already established a separate residential use of the building for independent living albeit on an ancillary basis to the main dwelling.  The internal works to facilitate the annex use have already been carried out and no further internal works are proposed under these applications.  The annex is unlikely to generate additional traffic to the site and there are no parking controls over where vehicles can park.  The garden areas proposed for the independent dwelling meet the council’s standards and are suitable for a modest one-bedroom unit.  In light of these factors, Officers do not consider that the use of the annex as an independent dwelling would harm the character or setting of the listed building, the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, or the amenity of existing neighbouring residents or the future occupiers of the proposed dwelling.





P22/S2416/FUL – To grant planning permission subject to the following conditions:


1.    Commencement within 3 years

2.    Development to be carried out in accordance with the approved plans

3.    Boundary treatments and hardsurfacing to be agreed prior to occupation



P22/S2417/LB – To grant listed building consent subject to the following conditions:


1.    Commencement within 3 years

2.    Works to be carried out in accordance with the approved plans.






Author: Tom Wyatt


Tel: 01235 422600