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 104 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2013.


Councillor Bambridge noted that the first sentence of the final paragraph of Minute No 117/13(g) should say ‘…it should be treated as an exceptional site’.


Subject to that amendment the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 November 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Spencer.  Councillor Chapman-Allen was present as her Substitute.



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

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.


With regard to Agenda Item 9, Schedule Item 2, Councillors Bambridge and Claussen noted that they both lived in Hockering.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Director of Planning & Business Manager gave the following update.


New District Wide Local Plan

The team were continuing to work on the initial issues and options paper for the Local Plan. At a meeting of the Local Plan Working Group (LPWG) on 3 December, the Employment Growth Study and a technical report on setting a localised housing target for Breckland were considered. Both of those studies would form an important part of the evidence base for the Local Plan and help shape the spatial strategy for the District. A visioning session for Members would be arranged for the New Year to feed into the Local Plan process.


Community Infrastructure Levy

The Draft Charging Schedule for the Community Infrastructure Levy was reported to Cabinet on 29 October. Cabinet decided to delay the consultation on the Draft Charging Schedule until after the CIL regulations were published in January to consider the likely impact they would have on CIL in Breckland.


Neighbourhood Plans

Reports on the progress of any neighbourhood plans within the District would be provided to the LPWG. The Neighbourhood Plan covering Attleborough and Besthorpe Parishes was formally designated by Cabinet on 29th October. A request had just been received from Croxton Parish Council to designate a plan area for the parish (however more information had been requested from the Parish to enable the request to be progressed).


Duty to Cooperate

Although Breckland was the first Council in Norfolk to be producing a new style local plan elsewhere in the country Inspectors at Local Plan Inquiries were identifying difficulties that could halt Plans from proceeding to adoption if they failed to meet stringent requirements - to demonstrate how the Duty to Cooperate had informed the preparation of that Plan from it’s outset.  Members would be advised on the implications and obligations arising from this new Duty set out in the Localism Act 2011.  It was likely to influence planning policy responses to adjoining local Planning Authorities and statutory bodies etc as well as the preparation of the Breckland Local Plan itself.


Local Plans around the country were being failed almost routinely/daily by Inquiry Inspectors over the Duty to Cooperate.  It would be interesting to see how that would be reconciled with the announcement in the Autumn Statement on a new obligation on Local Planning Authorities to have Local Plans in place.


Breckland was moving forward apace into Issues and Options and this is where the Duty to Cooperate obligation had to inform the process at a meaningful level – “from the outset”.


Doubtless that would be a matter to be tackled at the Visioning Session being organised for early in the New Year.  The Team would be sending out an early invitation to Members to get a slot in diaries for the New Year.


Councillor Bambridge asked where the Council was with the five year land supply.  


The Director of Planning & Business Manager advised that in the spring site visits would be carried out to see whether work had started  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.


Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 38 KB

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


DEREHAM: Greenfields Road/Wheatcroft Way: 220 Homes with Associated Landscaping and Infrastructure: Applicant: Mr R Green: Reference: 3PL/2011/0898/O pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning.

Additional documents:


This application had been approved in 2007 subject to a legal agreement, conditions and providing 40% affordable housing.  It was now proposed to reduce the affordable housing provision to 15% due to viability issues which had been confirmed by the District Valuer.  Members were recommended to agree the lower level and to include a claw-back clause to re-evaluate at the end of the scheme to see if that percentage could be increased.


Mr Needham (Clerk to the Town Council) said that they liked the development and thought it fitted well but they were concerned about the delivery of the Open Space.  The quantity was there, but not the quality.  Areas of the land identified for Open Space were on slopes and would not meet the required standards.  He was concerned that the quality could not be provided without the housing density being increased.


Mr Haslam (Agent) said it was a shame the Town Council had not pointed out their concerns two years ago when they had given their broad agreement to taking on the Open Spaces.  It was the applicant’s intention to provide the Open Space to the proper standards and those requirements could be brought to bear at the Reserved Matters stage.  The main issue for consideration today was viability at the density shown.  If the site was not viable it would not be delivered.


Mr Green (Applicant) was present to answer questions.


Councillor Richmond asked about the number of bedrooms to be provided and was advised that it would be up to whoever developed the site and the market conditions at that time.  He then asked if level play areas could be conditioned and the Officer confirmed that the draft legal agreement specified the amount of Open Space and that it should meet the required standards.


Councillor Carter was sad to see yet another application with reduced affordable housing provision.


Councillor Sharpe asked if a developer had been identified and it was confirmed that the Applicant did not intend to develop the site himself.  Once the legal agreement was settled the land would be put up for sale.  Councillor Sharpe asked why the legal agreement needed to be changed in that case and it was explained that potential purchasers needed to know where they stood.


Councillor Claussen thought it was a lovely low density site.  He asked if the Reserved Matters application would come to the Committee and it was confirmed that it would.


RESOLVED that the reduction in affordable housing provision be agreed subject to a claw-back clause in the legal agreement and the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the section 106 agreement.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Agenda Item 8a

Mr Robin Green





Greatbrisk Limited




Mr A Thorne




Mr & Mrs P Burton




Mr & Mrs D Maclean





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: DEREHAM: Greenfields Road/Wheatcroft Way: Construction of 220 homes with associated landscaping and infrastructure: Applicant: Mr Robin Green: Reference: 3PL/2011/0898/O


See Minute No 125/13a.


(b)       Item 2: HOCKERING: Land off Heath Road: Residential development (up to 18 dwellings): Applicant: Greatbrisk Limited: Reference: 3PL/2013/0821/O


Councillor Claussen was one of the Ward Representatives for Hockering.  It was noted that he and Councillor Bambridge lived in Hockering.


This outline application with all matters reserved included an indicative layout plan showing fairly dense development from a single access point off Heath Road.  The main issues were highway safety; effect on character and appearance and loss of hedgerow.


Mr Hawker (Parish Council) objected to the application as it was outside the Settlement Boundary which had been extended in 2012, against the Parish Council’s wishes.  The adjacent Glebe development had flooding problems which had required storm drains, the same would be true for this development.  The village had enough affordable housing.


Mr Slade (Objector) was developing two farm buildings to the rear of the site.  Stringent planning conditions had been imposed to maintain the rural properties of those buildings.  If the proposed development went ahead it would be at odds with those conditions which sought to protect the natural environment.


Councillor Rose (Ward Representative) endorsed the comments made.  His main concern was the highway which was never intended for the amount of traffic using it.  It was the main link between the A47 and the north of the County and would eventually join the Northern Distributor Route which would make matters worse.  The loss of the hedge to attain the required visibility splay was also an unacceptable price to pay.  The village did not want that many houses in that location.


Councillor Richmond referred to the Housing Enabling Officer’s comment about an identified need and asked how many people were on the waiting list.


The number was not known, but Councillor Claussen noted that the village did not want more small houses as it was turning into a transit camp and destroying the school.  It was also far too dense for that part of the village.  It was another example of a developer chancing their arm due to the lack of housing land supply and such an application would not be considered otherwise.


Councillor North agreed that it was too dense, although it offered a good affordable housing percentage.  However, she wondered if that might be affected by viability.  She was also not happy about the destruction of the hedgerow and thought that the development would put the oak trees at risk.


Councillor Bambridge confirmed that Hockering did not need any more small houses.  It needed three and four bedroom houses as more than 50% of the existing houses had two bedrooms.  Bigger houses were needed to keep young families in the village.  He also said that drainage needed to be considered.


The Planning Manager urged Members to be mindful  ...  view the full minutes text for item 126.


Applications determined by the Director of Commissioning (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 50 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.






Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 11)

APP/F2605/A/13/2199227:  THETFORD:  8 Mackenzie Road:  Appeal against refusal of planning permission for the erection of a dwelling by Mrs. A Jones:  Reference: 3PL/2013/0203/F

Decision:  Appeal dismissed

Summary:  The Inspector considered that the proposal would have an unacceptably harmful effect on the character and appearance of the area and an unacceptable effect on the living conditions of adjoining residents.


APP/F2605/A/13/2198987:  GUIST:  Duck Cottage, Malthouse Lane:  Appeal against refusal of planning permission for the erection of a 2 bedroom house by Mr. S. Bennett:  Reference: 3PL/2012/1180/F

Decision:  Appeal allowed subject to conditions in respect of materials, boundary treatment, parking and turning

Summary:  The Inspector considered that although visibility from Malthouse Lane across Norwich Road is less than ideal, it is not so defective as to cause the junction to be unsafe to a significant degree.  The use of the junction of Malthouse Lane with Norwich Road by occupiers of the proposal would not be unacceptably detrimental to highway safety or lead to an unacceptable deterioration in the efficiency of Norwich Road as a traffic carrier.  Malthouse Lane is considered adequate to provide satisfactory access


APP/F2605/A/13/2199359:  FOXLEY:  Land off Mill Road:  Appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for the erection of a detached single storey dwelling and double garage by Mr. & Mrs. N. Whybrow:  Reference: 3PL/2013/0075/O

Decision:  Appeal dismissed

Summary:  The Inspector considered that the proposal would not be appropriate to its location as it would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area and fails to maintain or enhance the vitality of local communities


APP/F2605/A/13/2199360:  FOXLEY:  Land off Mill Road:  Appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for the erection of a detached single storey dwelling and double garage by Mr. & Mrs. I. Powley:  Reference: 3PL/2013/0076/O

Decision:  Appeal dismissed

Summary:  The Inspector considered that the proposal would not be appropriate to its location as it would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the area and fails to maintain or enhance the vitality of local communities