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"Deeply Damaging"

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

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"Important Open Space"

How South Oxfordshire District Coucil classify The Elms

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Thame Town Council Ditch Conservation Committee

It has been brought to the attention of the Elms Petition Group that Thame Town Council have told Thame Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) that their services are no longer required with regards to considering planning applications in the Thame Area.

The CAAC was setup in 1984 and is a group of local volunteers who have intimate knowledge of the local conservation area, the listed buildings and the regulations involved in planning applications for the area.  For 30 years they have provided advice on every planning application that the Thame Town Council has considered which enables town councillors who may not have the depth of knowledge, to make fully informed decisions.

It is understood that the decision was recommended by the Town Clerk, Helen Stewart, and approved by Town Councillors at the AGM on 13th May 2014.  It is also understood that the CAAC who do not receive any funding, were not directly told of this decision by the council.

The CAAC have previously expressed their opposition of development of The Elms.

It would appear that the Town Clerk has suggested the CAAC were a 'self appointed' body however it is clear from minutes of the meeting in 1984 that the group was setup by democratic vote of the Town Councillors.

The Elms Petition Group have requested full details including the minutes of the meeting through a Freedom of Information request but, as has happened with previous requests, this has been resisted to it's fullest extent by the Town Clerk and we are yet to receive this information which should rightfully be immediately available in the public domain.

In a bizarre twist, the Mayor of Thame, Jeanette Matelot Green commented on a letter regarding the disbanding of the CAAC on Thame.net claiming the real cause of the disbanding was budget cuts - it is well known the CAAC receives no funding in the form of grants as she suggests.

Further information to follow when the FoI request is serviced (dont hold your breath petitioners...)

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