Outline planning permission (all matters reserved except for access) sought for demolition of existing buildings and development of 1511 sqm (gross) of offices and up to 129 dwellings and associated works.
Full planning permission sought for erection of a 68 bed care home and associated access, vehicular parking, landscaping, ancillary infrastructure and other works.
Anthony Dearlove was in the chair for the rest of the meeting.
Jeannette Matelot, one of the local ward councillors, stepped down from the committee and took no part in the debate or voting for this item.
The committee considered application P18/S3143/O for:
a) outline planning permission (all matters reserved except for access) for demolition of existing buildings and development of 1511sqm. (gross) of offices and up to 129 dwellings and associated works; and
b) full planning permission for the erection of a 68 bed care home and associated access, vehicular parking, landscaping, ancillary infrastructure and other works;
at DAF Trucks Ltd, Eastern Bypass, Thame.
Consultations, representations, policy and guidance and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report which formed part of the agenda pack for this meeting.
Mike Dyer and Graeme Markland, representatives of Thame Town Council, spoke objecting to the application.
James Good, the applicant’s agent, spoke in support of the application.
Jeannette Matelot and David Dodds, two of the local ward councillors, spoke objecting to the application
In response to issues raised by the speakers and members’ questions, the planning officer reported that:
· The proposed development was contrary to the Thame Neighbourhood Plan which forms part of the Development Plan. However, in this case, there were material considerations that indicated that the application should not be refused.
· The site had been subject to a continuous marketing campaign over an 18 month period which has concluded that there is no demand for its allocated use. The council’s Economic Development Team had reviewed the marketing of the site and, whilst concerned about the loss of valuable employment land, accepts that the new development would create jobs, albeit in a different sector. The main concern is that the whole site has not been marketed.
· Although the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group had objected to the application on the grounds that the development would put extra pressure on already stretched services, it had subsequently requested and accepted a payment of £25,000 from the applicant towards the cost of local health care infrastructure.
Members expressed concern about the fact that the proposal was contrary to the Thame Neighbourhood Plan and were not satisfied that an appropriate marketing exercise had been carried out, covering the whole of the site, before alternative uses were considered. Accordingly, contrary to the officer recommendation, a motion, moved and seconded, to refuse the application was declared carried on being put to the vote.
RESOLVED: to refuse planning permission for application P18/S3143/O for the following reasons:
1. The proposed development would result in the loss of an existing employment site and it has not been demonstrated that the site is no longer economically viable as the marketing exercise undertaken is considered to be inadequate and fails to cover the whole of the site. As such the proposed development conflicts with Policy E6 of the adopted South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011 and Policy WS12 of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan.
2. In the absence of a completed S106 legal agreement, the proposal fails to secure affordable housing to meet the needs of the district. As such, the development would be contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework, Policy CSH3 of the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy and Policy H8 of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan.
3. In the absence of a completed S106 legal agreement, the proposal fails to secure on and off site infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of the development. As such, the development would be contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework, Policy CSI1 of the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy and Policies T1, R2 and R6 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011.