Planning Committee


HELD on Wednesday 24 November 2021 at 6.00 pm

First Floor Meeting Space, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB



Present in the meeting room:

Councillors: Peter Dragonetti (Chair), Tim Bearder, Kate Gregory (substituting for David Bretherton), Victoria Haval, Elizabeth Gillespie, Axel Macdonald, Jane Murphy (substituting for Lorraine Hillier) Jo Robb, Ian Snowdon and Alan Thompson


Officers: Paul Bateman and Cathie Scotting


Remote attendance:

Councillors: Ken Arlett, Sam Casey-Rerhaye, David Bretherton (as local ward members)

Officers: Andy Heron, Susie Royse and Nicola Smith 




30            Chair's announcements

Councillor Peter Dragonetti in the chair. The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting, outlined the procedure to be followed and advised on emergency evacuation arrangements.


31     Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors David Bretherton and Lorraine Hillier (Councillor Kate Gregory substituted for councillor David Bretherton and Councillor Jane Murphy substituted for Councillor Lorraine Hillier).




32    Minutes of the previous meetings


The committee approved the minutes of the meetings held on Wednesday 11 August 2021 and Wednesday 1 September 2021 as correct records and agreed that the Chair sign them as such.




33    Declarations of interest






34    Urgent business


There was no urgent business.




35     Proposals for site visits


There were no proposals for site visits.




36         Public participation


The list showing members of the public who had registered to speak had been circulated to the committee some days prior to the meeting.




37         P20/S4693/FUL - Land to the West of Windmill Road, Thame


Councillor Jo Robb arrived at the meeting after the discussion on this application had commenced, therefore had not heard the whole debate and did not participate in the vote.  Local ward councillors David Bretherton and Kate Gregory did not participate in the vote on this application. Councillor Ken Arlett, attending virtually, did not vote on this application.


The committee considered planning application P20/4693/FUL for the development of an existing greenfield site for 31 new affordable homes to include 4 x 1B maisonettes, 18 x 2B4P houses and 9 x 3B5P houses. The homes are to remain affordable in perpetuity under the community land trust mechanism and are to provide homes to people with a local connection to Thame. The masterplan includes on-site parking and shared green spaces for residents and the wider community. The proposed design also includes proposed upgrades to local infrastructure where the Phoenix Trail meets Windmill Road on Land to the West of Windmill Road, Thame.


The planning officer reported an incorrect statement in the report regarding Councillor Kate Gregory; that councillor had not called in the application, the head of planning, under delegated powers, had referred the application to the committee owing to the number of concerns expressed by the public.


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 the meeting.


The planning officer reported that the application was for 31 dwellings, with the express purpose of providing affordable homes for people with a local connection. This type of tenure had been identified through a 2019 housing trust survey.  A legal agreement would maintain this type of tenure, an approach which South Oxfordshire housing officers had endorsed. The proposed development would be of low density, at 24 dwellings per hectare, of high quality and with a good proportion of open space. An increased density would have incorporated more flats, which was not considered appropriate by the developer. The site was not located in the green belt.


Car parking was allocated in on-plot cases and off-plot spaces were not allocated. The Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), the highway authority, was satisfied with these arrangements. The design has been subject to a Stage 1 road safety audit, which also made reference to the Phoenix Trail. The audit, coupled with the designer’s response, had been approved by the OCC. The design of the dwellings would be contemporary, with public and private amenity space and play areas. The philosophy implicit in the development was to create a good sense of community. The proposal was in keeping with policy DES 10, which sought to ensure that all new development minimised the carbon and energy impacts of their design and construction, and that the design should improve resilience to the anticipated effects of climate change. The developer’s energy statement demonstrated energy conservation in the design and choice of energy saving building materials, as well as minimising the use of gas in space heating and domestic hot-water heating, as examples.


The planning officer advised the committee that the bulk of concerns from the public had been in respect of the Phoenix Trail and the potential effects of the development upon usage by walkers and cyclists. The developer had made considerable efforts in working with SUSTRANS to effect a suitable crossing. The scheme would have a single lane and new signage. The design had passed the road safety audit and the OCC and SUSTRANS had found it satisfactory. The planning officer displayed to the committee a detailed slide, depicting the proposed crossing, its signage and road markings, and the interface between motor traffic and other road-users, giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists.


Councillor Linda Emery, a representative of Thame Town Council, spoke in support of the application. In response to a question from the committee regarding the model upon which tenure would be offered, Councillor Emery responded that it was envisaged that properties would be offered at 30% lower than the market value.


Mr. Robert Smith, a local resident, spoke objecting to the application.


Ms. Cathy Gaulter-Carter, a local resident, spoke objecting to the application.


Mr. Alex Towler, the architect, spoke in support of the application. Ms. Helen Flitton, a member of the Thame Community Land Trust Board, was present with the architect to answer technical questions. In response to a question from the committee regarding the selection of appropriate sites, Ms. Flitton advised the committee that, to her knowledge, the town council had called for suitable sites, but that no location within the built-up area of Thame had resulted; subsequently this was the only suitable site which had been identified.


Councillor Sam Casey-Rerhaye, Cycling Champion, spoke to the application.


Councillor David Bretherton, a local ward councillor, spoke in support of the application.


Councillor Kate Gregory, a local ward councillor, spoke objecting to the application.


In response to a question from the committee, the planning officer advised the committee that it was intended that the vehicular speed, where the road crossed the trail, would be reduced to 20mph from 30mph. The OCC would have the final decision on this issue.


Responding to a question from the committee as to whether the proposed development was contrary to the neighbourhood plan, the planning officer reported that application site was not allocated in the made Thame Neighbourhood Plan and that council officers had considered that this proposal met the requirements of policy H10 (‘exception sites and entry level housing schemes’), as it responded to the local need in a way that was not being met elsewhere, providing a mix of affordable rented properties and discount market properties.


The committee noted the proposals for the Phoenix Trail crossing, and requested a further condition be added to the recommendation requiring clarification of the pedestrian priority at the crossing. It considered that this was an application for a much-needed family-centred affordable housing development in a sustainable location, which should be supported.


A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: to grant planning permission for application P20/S4693/FUL subject to the following;


A) Completion of S106 a legal agreement to

 i) secure the affordable housing and

ii) financial contributions and infrastructure as outlined in the report


B) The following conditions:


1.     Commencement within three years

2.     Approved plans


Pre commencement


3.    Levels details of existing and proposed levels

4.    Details of lighting, utilities and landscaping

5.    Landscaping Scheme

6.    Tree Protection

7.    Sample materials

8.    Energy Statement Verification

9.    Refuse & Recycling Storage details required – prior to commencement above slab level

10. Protect hedges during development operations

11. Open Space and Play Areas

12. Construction Environmental Management Plan

13. Biodiversity Enhancement Plan

14 : Biodiversity offsetting

15: Cycle Parking Facilities

16 : Construction Traffic Management Plan

17: Surface water drainage works

18 : Foul drainage works


Prior to occupation


19 : New estate roads

20 : Parking & Manoeuvring Areas

21 : Landscape Management Plan

22 : Tree pits design

23 : Surface Water Drainage

24 : Electric charging point – access for every house to an EVCP

25 : Air Quality mitigation measures

26 : Traffic Survey


Post completion


27:  Traffic Survey (to establish if the crossing of the Phoenix Trail is effective, and implementation of post completion mitigation measures if required)

Additional condition: Details of the Phoenix Trail crossing and priority for cyclists




38         P20/S3905/FUL - Manana, Latchford Lane, Great Haseley


The committee considered planning application 20/S3905/FUL for the demolition of existing bungalow and garage and erection of new chalet style house (as amended by revised plans amended plans, arboricultural impact assessment, preliminary bat roost assessment, energy statement, and water efficiency calculator received 17/05/2021 and bat survey received 31/08/2021) at Manana, Latchford Lane, Great Haseley.


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 the meeting.


The planning officer advised the committee that the report had incorrectly stated that the local ward councillor, Councillor Caroline Newton, had called in the application. The Great Haseley Parish Council had objected to the application and Councillor Newton had been invited to speak, but had given apologies in advance, owing to a prior engagement. The planning officer confirmed that the application was therefore referred to the committee due to Great Haseley Parish Council’s objection, who raised concerns regarding the size of the replacement dwelling.


The planning officer informed the committee that this was an application for the demolition of a bungalow and the construction of a chalet style house, which would be 0.9m higher than the existing dwelling. The site was within a semi-rural street-scene of predominantly small detached, pitched-roof bungalows, in the built area of Great Haseley. An error at paragraph 6.26 in the report was referred to; it stated that… ‘the amended plans have removed the proposed basement which is no longer required’. In fact, a basement was still contained in the proposal.


The planning officer reported that the overall mass and scale of the replacement dwelling would be larger than that of the existing dwelling by virtue of its footprint and height. Despite this, the proposed design was now considered to fit with the semi-rural character of the area. Unlike the original design, the dwelling would be set-back behind the building line, which would reduce any overbearing impact when viewed from the Latchford Lane street-scene to the north-east. The dwelling now proposed a simple pitched roof form with a height which was no higher than Watersmeet, which was situated to the north-west. Additionally, the development would no longer extend as far into the rear garden, with the rear depth extended only 2.7m beyond the existing line. The rear footprint would be set-back 8.7m behind the south-western rear extension at Watersmeet. The planning officer also reported that the replacement dwelling had been purposely sited to protect neighbouring amenity; the south-eastern side elevation would be 1.2m distant from the Birsay neighbouring boundary, and the south-western side elevation would 1.8m from the Watersmeet neighbouring boundary. Birsay was judged to lose only a small amount of light. In terms of any flood risk, a small area to the north-eastern area of the site had been assessed as having a 0.1 percent annual risk of surface water flooding. The council’s drainage officer has been consulted on this matter.


The committee noted condition 12, in respect of the withdrawal of permitted development rights, and enquired whether this would cover a car port. The planning officer confirmed that it would.


The chair stated that there were no public speakers in respect of the application, but noted that statements had been received from Great Haseley Parish Council, who had objected to the application, Mr. Toby Garfitt, a local resident, who had objected, and Mr. Mark Hobbs, the agent, in support of the application. All these statements had been shared with the committee.


The committee considered that the development would enhance the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area, and that, overall, the benefits of the development outweighed any potential harm. Therefore the application should receive planning permission.


A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: to grant planning permission for application P20/S3905/FUL subject to the following conditions;


1.     Commencement three years - Full Planning Permission.

2.     Approved plans.

3.     Bat box.

4.   Tree Protection (General).

5.   Existing vehicular access.

6.   Parking and manoeuvring areas retained.

7.   Energy Statement Verification.

8.   Electric Vehicle Charging Points.

9.   Bat survey compliance.

10.Hours of operation – construction/demolition sites.

11. Materials.

12. Withdrawal of P.D. (Part 1 Class A, B, C, D and E).

13.CIL- informative.

14. Section 151 of the Highways Act 1980 – informative.

15. Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980 – informative.

16. Works within the highway – informative.




39         P21/S2551/FUL - Waterstone House, Burcot


The committee considered planning application P21/S2551/FUL for works of demolition, extension, alteration and conversion of the existing storage building to form a self-contained dwelling (19-08-2021 amended neighbour notification certificates following notification on all frontages of access road and structural survey) at Waterstone House, Burcot.


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 the meeting.


The planning officer informed the committee that this was an application for the alteration and conversion of an existing building to form a 1-bedroom dwelling. The proposal would involve some demolition; a 3-metre-wide section of the western end of the building, and a 1-metre-wide section to the east. The site was within the green belt and designated as an area of archaeological interest. The building formed the southern half of a former barn, sharing a party wall to the north with the northern part of the barn, which was within the rear garden of Withywindle. A structural survey had concluded that the barn was in a reasonable structural condition for its age and past usage, and could be safely converted. In respect of residential amenity and possible loss of light issues, the planning officer reported that Withywindle was the nearest dwelling to the site, which was situated 21m. to the north. Neighbouring properties were at a sufficient far distance not to suffer from any loss of light or privacy, particularly as the dwelling would be single storey. The council’s drainage officer had reviewed the proposed plans and raised no objection, subject to surface water drainage and foul drainage conditions.


Ms. Jo Jenkins, a local resident, of Withywindle, spoke objecting to the application.  Responding to a question from the committee regarding her reasons for objecting, Ms. Jenkins expressed concern at possible damage to her party wall.


Mr. Jake Collinge, the agent, spoke in support of the application. In response to a question from the committee regarding the proposal, for apparently 5 rear doors to the conversion, Mr. Collinge replied that this was an intentional feature to replicate the existing stable design and to facilitate an internal open plan treatment. The committee sought further reassurance regarding the safe removal of the 7 ‘A’ frames, notwithstanding the structural survey stating that this would be a safe conversion.  Mr. Collinge replied that there would be a cantilever arrangement along the party line, which would be a supporting feature. Additionally, the cantilever would support both sides of the shared pitched roof. The applicant was keen to re-use elements of the building in the interests of good sustainability. The planning officer advised the committee that conversion was stated in the description of the development. If the building was not capable of conversion, a new planning consent would be required.


In response to a question from the committee in respect of the protection of bats, the planning officer reported that the council’s ecologist had concluded that the site was not habitable for bats, but as stated in paragraph 6.31 of the report, the countryside officer had recommended, as precautionary measure, a bat protection informative, in case bats were discovered during construction (proposed informative 11- ‘bats informative’).


Councillor Sam Casey-Rerhaye, the local ward councillor, spoke to the application.


The committee asked about the appropriateness of a wood burning stove in the back garden, the planning officer replied that this was a building control matter. The committee asked a question about access to the septic tank. The planning officer responded that this was in the ownership of the applicant but was not a matter for planning control. The committee also asked a question in respect of the apparent low level of amenity space. The planning officer replied that 66 sq.m of amenity space exceeded the minimum standard and accorded with local plan policy.


The committee had concerns about the safety of the conversion and its inappropriateness within an area of large properties with spacious gardens, as well as, in its view, the small amount of amenity space. It also considered that the proposal was not appropriate for the green belt, cramped and likely to have a detrimental effect upon the amenity of neighbouring properties.


A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission failed on being put to the vote.


A motion moved and seconded, to refuse planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: to refuse planning permission for application P21/S2551/FUL subject to the following reasons;


  1.  Cramped form of development which would harm the spacious character and appearance of the area




The meeting closed at 20:05




Chair                                                                           Date