HOUSEBUILDERS said the first county plan under laws aimed at giving residents more say over development has led to a bid for 203 homes.

Bloor Homes said its plan for Thame was put forward because of a neighbourhood plan adopted with 76 per cent of a public vote in 2013. The plan sets out what development such as homes and businesses should be built and where it should go.

The Thame Neighbourhood Plan – the first adopted in Oxfordshire – included support for homes north of Oxford Road, land not earmarked in South Oxfordshire District Council policies for where major housebuilding should go.

Now developers said the plan had encouraged it to put forward proposals because the site is backed by the public.

Bloor strategic planning director David Joseph said: “The development of the proposals have been influenced and guided by the neighbourhood plan, public consultation and a design guide looking at the characteristics of Thame and the site itself.

“This has led to a development which will feature specifically designed homes reflecting local design and materials.”

Neighbourhood plans must be taken into account when authorities make decisions on development proposals.

They were created under the 2011 Localism Act in a bid to give residents more control over what is built in their area. Dozens of other towns, villages and Oxford suburbs are now preparing neighbourhood plans.

Bloor said it worked with Thame Town Council to create a “design brief” for the site, as the neighbourhood plan requires.

The brief outlines rules for development which accord with the neighbourhood plan, such as maintaining a natural green area next to Cuttle Brook.

The public can comment on the application at using reference number P14/S3841/FUL until the end of today.

The district council is due to make a final decision by March 11.


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