Case Study: 203 houses, South Oxfordshire District Council

Thame Neighbourhood Plan

Background

SP Broadway was asked to provide political and community relations support for a small niche housebuilder to gain an allocation in the emerging Thame Neighbourhood Plan.

Challenge

As one of the first Neighbourhood Plans in the UK, SP Broadway was brought on board to work out where power lay within the process and to establish links with those making the political running. We spent important time in research and gained key information on the key local ‘movers and shakers’ from the MP. It was important to liaise with the key driver of the Neighbourhood Plan, Thame Town Council, who were concerned about a single large development site and who preferred a dispersed approach to new housing.

Solution

  • SP Broadway identified a Housing Working Group within the town council, which proved to be the key advisory and delivery mechanism throughout the Neighbourhood Plan process; as well as identifying key political stakeholders and advisers to the town council.
  • We met with local residents’ associations to understand their concerns regarding development in specific areas and to highlight the many benefits of an allocation on our site.
  • We supported a presentation to Thame Town Council on behalf of the client team.
  • We undertook briefings and wrote a series of key letters to inform political and community stakeholders.

Result

Our site was allocated 203 homes in the May 2013 Referendum, with 2,779 residents in Thame voting in favour of adopting the Neighbourhood Plan. Construction is due to commence in 2014.

For details of SP Broadway and RPS’s Neighbourhood Planning Strategy click here.

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