Object to the latest application for 69 Extra Care houses now. Click here to use the Quick Objector.

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"Deeply Damaging"

How English Heritage described the development of The Elms in 2012.


"Important Open Space"

How South Oxfordshire District Coucil classify The Elms


Rectory's Latest Application is for 85 Care Homes

Further to the recently withdrawn application for 87 care homes, Rectory's "Application of the Week" is now for 85 care homes - the 3rd major application for this site in less than 3 years.  Full details of the application can be found on SODC's website here.  The brief overview of the application is for 85 care homes which includes onsite nurses, catering and entertainment facilities for the over-65s.

This volume of housing clearly exceeds the allocation of "up to 45 houses" which is detailed in the Thame Neighbourhood Plan.  This volume of housing of this type will also heavily increase the pressure on local support services such as doctors and ambulance first responders.  Anyone that currently lives in Southern Thame will testify that ambulances and fire services (first responders) are already an all too regular sight at the existing care homes in the area.

In Contradiction to the Neighbourhood Plan

In the previous application (which was approved over a year ago), Rectory Homes argued that the Neighbourhood Plan allowed for 'in any case, no more than 45 homes' and therefore their application for 37 homes was a reasonable density.  The SODC Conservation Officer argued that 37 homes was too dense for this space - clearly 81 homes is too dense on this thinking.

In this latest application, Rectory are now arguing that the Neighbourhood Plan has a clause which states that the exact number of houses cannot be accurately identified.  This clause was intended to suggest that fewer than 45 houses may well be allocated not more!  In fact, the wording is quite clear that no more than 45 homes are to be built.

Another obvious contradiction to the Neighbourhood Plan is that this plan is for a business use and not residential.  Whilst Rectory propositions this application as 'Extra CareHomes' the exact use is for C2 (Residential Institutions such as hospitals, care homes, boarding schools, training centres) all of which are business uses. 

Whatever way you look at this application it clearly contradicts the neighbourhood plan.

Why has Rectory Lodged this Application?

Likely for 2 reasons, both of which are interconnected.  Firstly, with all the recent building in Thame, there's now an oversupply of 2,3 & 4 bedroom houses in Thame and, whilst prices remain (artificially?) high, the developers are currently struggling to shift the current stock of houses and therefore if Rectory wanted to shift 37 houses, they may have to compromise their profit somewhat.

Secondly, it's likely that an Extra Care Home such as this is more profitable than a finite stock of houses.  Don't forget that the application is for a business rather than residential houses and therefore there's profit in the land and buildings but also in the business of the care home.  The houses would likely be sold on a leashold basis mneaning that the land owner (Currently Mr Simon Vickers - owner of Rectory Homes - personally owns the land) would only 'lease' the flats on a long term basis.

How can you object Before 4th May Deadline?

  1. Log on to the SODC website and write your objection there
  2. Use our Quick Objector here
  3. Contact your local Thame Town Councillor, SODC Councillor and, of course, MP John Howell.