Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2013.


The Solicitor noted two minor amendments: 


  • On page 4 Schedule Item 1a) the first sentence should read with all matters reserved; and
  • On page 6 Schedule Item 4 (Dereham) should be sub-paragraph d) not c).


Subject to those two amendments the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Declaration of Interest and of Representations Received (Agenda Item 3)

Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in the Register of Interests. Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 


In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.


Members noted that they had received direct representation regarding the deferred items in Thetford (Agenda Item 8a).



The National Planning Policy Framework and the Current LDF Policies (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Report of the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Additional documents:


The Planning Policy Team Leader and the Planning Policy Officer presented the report.


Following the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in 2012 a twelve month transitional period had been allowed for dealing with planning applications.  During that time, full weight could be given to any approved Local Plan.  That transitional period ended in March 2013.


It was now necessary to assess all the Council’s planning policies for conformity with the NPPF and if there was any conflict, to assess if the policy should still carry weight.  The two main documents to be considered were the Core Strategy Policies and the Site Specifics Policies.


The Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP) had been adopted after the introduction of the NPPF and the Planning Inspector had confirmed that it was in conformity.  Its Policies therefore continued to carry full weight.


Appendix A to the report set out the assessment of Policies within the Core Strategy and Appendix D did the same for Policies within the Site Specifics document.   All Policies in both documents were considered to be conforming or part conforming to the NPPF.


Attention was drawn to a couple of Policies in particular.  Policy CP1 was only part conforming as the NPPF required the Council to have a full five year housing land supply.  Growth location was OK but numbers were not.


There was a slight change to Affordable Housing Sites Policy, which no longer required the whole site to be for affordable housing.


The removal of Planning Policy Guidance and Statements left gaps in the current Policies, which needed to be addressed.  One such gap was in relation to rural workers.


A large amount of technical advice had also been left out of the NPPF and the Government was reviewing the best way to reproduce that advice and the outcome of that review was awaited.


Cabinet had considered the way forward and recommended a Local Plan for the whole district.  All Core Strategy Policies and land allocations would be reviewed and until then all the Policies would remain in place.


Councillor Lamb asked how firm the TAAP was and was advised that the TAAP could be given full weight in the decision making process.  Members could still take a balanced view on proposals.  In future the TAAP would be morphed into the wider Local Plan and there might be a need to update some policies due to increased growth to the north of the town.


Councillor Lamb asked why Policy DC17 was only partly conforming and the Planning Manager explained that under the NPPF the demolition of historic buildings was permitted in certain cases.  The Council’s policy did not allow for demolition of historic buildings and therefore it did not conform to the NPPF.


Councillor Bambridge asked if it would be easier to permit new dwellings outside Settlement Boundaries in future and was advised that the process would be largely the same.  A case would still need to be made.


Councillor Claussen asked for the gap in the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To consider applications deferred at previous meetings including some, but not all, of those shown on the attached Schedule of Deferred Applications.


Thetford: Proposed Supermarkets at London Road and Mundford Road : Applicants: Location 3 Properties & Pigeon/Crown Estate : References: 3PL/2012/0213/O and 3PL/2012/0748/O pdf icon PDF 7 MB

Report of the Director of Commissioning.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented the report on the two supermarket applications which had been considered by the Committee and deferred in October.  He gave Members a brief reminder of the two proposals and highlighted the key issues for deciding between them. 


When deferring the applications Members had requested additional information on three main issues:


Retail Impact

Both proposals would result in the diversion of trade from the town centre.  The details were explained in the retail impact report.  In conclusion it was considered that the combined effect of two supermarkets would have a significant impact on the town centre, but the balance of arguments suggested that one supermarket would not cause widespread shop closures and the loss of trade would be offset by an increase in spending.


Marketing of the Tulip Site

The appendix to the report set out the chronology of the offers by the Two Sisters Food Group.  Members were advised of the distinction between private and public matters and although some weight should be given to the offers, the Policy was concerned with the supply of employment land – not with reserving sites for particular occupiers.


TEP Infrastructure Proposals

More information had been provided by the applicant and Members were shown a plan which set out proposals for a new roundabout on the Mundford Road to provide access to the site; part of a spine road through the site; a new footway link on the site side of Mundford Road; and new foul and surface water drainage.  It was also proposed to reinforce the link between two existing sub-stations to provide electricity for the site.


The comparative merits of the two proposals were then discussed and it was noted that there were no substantial objections to either scheme.  However, it was reiterated that Members should not consider approving both as the impact would be too great. 


There was little difference between the retail impacts of the proposals and both applications proposed mitigation to address the negative impacts:  


The Tulip Site application proposed enhancement to the town centre including shop front improvements and a business start-up scheme.  The package was valued at £300,000.  The TEP Site application proposed similar town centre enhancements to a value of £100,000.


Both proposals involved the loss of employment land.  The difference in the size of the sites was not considered significant.  However, the loss of employment land on the TEP site was more significant due to its strategic value.   Both sites proposed mitigation schemes to address the loss of employment land.  The Tulip Site applicants also owned a nearby site which had been marketed since 2009.  They proposed to knock down the existing building there and provide improved access and services to attract development.  The TEP Site applicants proposed substantial investment in new infrastructure of about £5million on the site.  That would account for a significant proportion of the investment needed to bring forward the whole area, although further investment would be needed.


In conclusion the loss of lower  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14a


Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mrs Sharmane Edwards




W O & P O Jolly





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: ATTLEBOROUGH: Birds Meadow, Buckenham Road: Erection of 17 dwellings: Applicant: Ms Sharmane Edwards: Reference: 3PL/2012/1243/F


This application for 17 dwellings was similar to a proposal refused in 2011 on grounds that the site was outside the Settlement Boundary, impact on the area and trees; and access issues.  In view of the Council’s lack of a five year housing land supply, such applications were to be determined on the basis of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  The site would provide 40% affordable housing and had good eco-credentials.  However, the layout was constrained by a gas pipeline which crossed the site.  The Officer thought that the layout was at odds with development in the locality and that the density to the rear of the site was at odds with its surroundings.


The Highways Authority had objected to the access arrangements, due to lack of sufficient visibility splays.  The applicant said there was scope for agreement with an adjacent landowner to allow hedge trimming to achieve the required splays.  


It was proposed to infill an existing pond and create a new one and there was concern about the effect of that on an adjacent protected oak tree.


On balance the scheme was considered unacceptable and was recommended for refusal.


Mrs Taylor (Town Council) supported the recommendation of refusal.  The scheme did not fit with the existing street scene and there were traffic and safety concerns.  The Town Council also wanted to prevent piecemeal development.  They were considering a Neighbourhood Plan for the town and wanted to stop development outside the Settlement Boundary until infrastructure provision had been addressed.


Mr Cumming (Agent) responded to the objections saying that the pond was heavily shaded and silted up.  Specialist advice was to fill the pond in.  That would enhance the life of the closest tree.  With regard to access, visibility splays could be achieved by cutting back the hedge.  An application would also be made to extend the 30mph limit along the site frontage.


Councillor Stasiak (Ward Representative) thought there was a lack of consistency in the Officers’ recommendations.  350 houses had been approved recently outside the Settlement Boundary with a reduced affordable housing provision.  This site would give the full amount and there were over 600 people on the housing waiting list.  The application was not opposed by local residents and the buildings would enhance the area.


Councillor North was concerned that infilling the pond could cause drainage problems.


Councillor Bambridge asked how it could be ensured that the visibility splay would be retained for future years.  He asked about the Town Council’s timescale for their Neighbourhood Plan and was advised that, due to all the work done for the Attleborough Action Plan, it should be possible to produce the Neighbourhood Plan within 12 months.


Refused, as recommended.


b)         Item 2: ROUDHAM/LARLING: Roudham Farm: Erection of environmentally controlled onion storage building: Applicant: W O & P O Jolly: Reference: 3PL/2012/1352/F


This application proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.


Agricultural Notifications (For Information) (Agenda Item 10)




Applications determined by the Director of Commissioning (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning


Members are requested to raise any questions at least two working days before the meeting to allow information to be provided to the Committee.




Applications Determined by Norfolk County Council (For Information) (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 28 KB




Appeal Decisions (For Information) (Agenda Item 13)

APP/F2605/A/12/2187699/NWF: Site at the Old Vicarage, The Street, Croxton: Appeal by Mr Geoffrey Riddle: Reference: 3PL/2012/0365/F

Appeal Withdrawn


APP/F2605/A/12/2812143: Land adjacent The Vines, The Street, Great Cressingham: Appeal by Mrs V Woolnough against the refusal to grant permission for the erection of a new dwelling and garage: Reference: 3PL/2012/0445/F

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed