As current residents of Thame or nearby communities, we object to the building of the proposed new houses on the area north west of Thame, on the ‘designated open space’ next to the current Thame Meadows housing estate for the reasons below:
- The area proposed is a flood plain. The current flood risk assessment suggests that the 100 year +30% line is below the line of houses. However pictures from flooding from two weeks ago overlaid on this line, suggests the water is already reaching these proposed houses before they are even built. This throws significant concerns over the accuracy of the flood model used, not to mention the potential impact of this and other developments of increased flooding of houses and garden here and elsewhere along the river.
- Water and sewerage will be supplied and dealt with by Thames Water, whom are already struggling to provide water to the town, and whom during recent flooding pumped raw sewerage into the local river for over 50 hours. There have also been multiple sewerage spills over roads and into gardens in the current Thame Meadows estate, so the system is clearly not able to support the current houses let alone ~150+ more.
- Thame’s current amenities are at breaking point, schools are already oversubscribed, Doctor’s surgery’s are struggling with demand, and getting a NHS Dentist is near impossible. With another ~150+ houses where will the extra schools, Doctor’s and Dentist’s come from?
- The current Thame Neighborhood Plan specifically states this area should not be developed and left as open space. We suggest instead it be used to extend the Cuttlebrook Nature Reserve, which the Town Council have currently asked us to stop using because it is so over-utilized!
- The area to be built on is designated ‘accessible open space’. A legal agreement between the developer and Thame District Council was put in place to prevent development on this open space when the current Thame Meadows Estate was built! This agreement should be enforced to protect the small amount of green space Thame has left.
- The current open space provides homes and green space to an array of wildlife species. The current plans also destroy multiple historic hedgerows which house, feed and protect these species including kingfishers, woodpeckers, hedgehogs, fieldfare, water voles, grass snakes, deer, otters, many other types of birds, and possibly even great crested newts.
- The proposed houses would have a significant negative impact on views from Oxford Road blocking Historic Thames only view to the neighboring countryside. As well as destroying the last known ridge and furrow field in this area.
- The density and scale of the housing plans far exceeds that of the current estate and is in direct conflict with the current Thame Neighborhood Plan and in protecting the feeling of Historic Thame.
- No green space is found separating the current development from the new development in significant areas of the proposed plan. This is in direct conflict with the Thame Neighborhood Plan, other information the developer submitted, and not in keeping with all previous new developments in Thame.
In conclusion, Thame already suffers from a scarcity of green spaces. This particular area was designated as Open Space not to be developed as part of the Thame Neighborhood Plan and current planning permission. This was to give us much needed respite, connection with nature and to play a crucial role in preventing flooding in other parts of our town and surrounding villages.
The loss of this green space would be catastrophic for residents and local flora and fauna. It means fewer places to enjoy outdoor activities and less habitat for these animals which are already under threat due to urbanisation. Please note this area should already be publicly accessible, which the developer has still not delivered on.
We believe that it is essential that planning permissions are respected and enforced to protect such valuable spaces from being lost forever, and urge the relevant authorities to take action against this proposal which is in direct conflict to their own planning permissions (section 106 agreement).
If new houses cannot be avoided we urge you to consider other sites that are not on a flood plain, don’t destroy this rich and diverse area of open space that could easily extend our current nature reserve, which is already overused, and can accommodate some of the already needed amenities including schools, nurseries and doctors.
Please join us in preserving the future of Thame by signing this petition today! Let’s stand together against this development and protect our precious open spaces for generations to come.
This ePetition ran from 17/01/2024 to 08/02/2024 and has now finished.
Nobody signed this ePetition.