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 87 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 1 September 2014.


When the Minutes had been presented to the full Council meeting on 25 September 2014 the following amendments had been requested:


Minute No 87/14a – Item 1: Watton

Councillor Gilbert had sought clarification of the penultimate sentence on page 45 which said the recommendation of refusal had not been supported.  On the following page it had been resolved to refuse the application.


The sentence should be amended to read that the recommendation of approval had not been supported.


Minute No 87/14b – Item 2: Dereham

In the second paragraph on page 5 Councillor T Monument advised that he had said that Dumpling Green was a pedestrian public right of way and only partly lit, and that cyclists had no right of way.


Subject to those amendments, the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 September 2014 were approved 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 Councillors Carter, Chapman-Allen and Robinson.


Apologies were also received from Substitute members, Councillors Goreham, Joel and W Richmond.



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


Councillors Lamb and Spencer declared that they were members of Thetford Town Council.  They would listen to the presentation regarding Agenda Item 8a (Croxton) and then make comments before leaving the room.


Councillor Bowes declared that she had a non-pecuniary interest in some land close to Schedule Item 1 (Saham Toney).  She would not take part in the discussions or vote on the application.




Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman introduced Ms Charlotte Lockwood, Solicitor who was in attendance to give legal advice to the Committee.


He reminded Members of the coach tour arranged for 10 October 2014 to view sites that had received planning permission from the Committee.  (Following the meeting the date of the Tour was changed to 14 November 2014).


Finally he welcomed Nick Moys back to the Council.



Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Planning Manager provided the update.


The final section of the Issues and Options consultation would be considered by the Local Plan Working Group on 30 September 2014 and would predominantly consider the approach to the market towns.  The Issues and Options document would then need to be agreed by Cabinet on 22 October 2014 prior to the public consultation which would also include a call for sites for land to be included within the Local Plan.


A statement of common ground had been agreed between Breckland and Norfolk County Council (NCC) on the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NNDR).  There were still areas of dispute including the timing of mitigation works.


A good level of response had been received from the parish councils on the Open Space Assessment, particularly with regard to new amenity areas.  The site visits should be completed by the end of October.


A public meeting had been held on 13 September 2014 by the parish councils to consider the key issues that residents would like to have included within the Croxton, Brettenham and Kilverstone Neighbourhood Plan.


Councillor Claussen noted that he had attended a meeting about the NNDR and the Inspectors had put pressure on NCC about mitigation.  He hoped that County would hold meetings with the parish councils directly affected by the route.



Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 41 KB

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


CROXTON: Land off Croxton Road: Skate Park: Applicant: Thetford Town Council: Reference: 3PL/2014/0458/F pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place.

Additional documents:


Councillors Lamb and Spencer declared an interest in this item as Thetford Town Councillors.


Councillor Kybird declared that he was also a Town Councillor but that he would be speaking in his capacity as Ward Representative of the adjoining Ward.


Councillor Childerhouse sought clarification of the position of Town Councillors on the Committee.  It was confirmed that they would exercise their right to speak on the application before leaving the room.


Members were given a brief reminder of the application which had previously been presented to the Committee in July and deferred for further information.  It was noted that the Officer’s recommendation had been changed to one of approval.


The following information had been provided:


  • An amended plan had been received showing a new footpath to access the site, running parallel with Joe Blunts Lane, adjacent the Academy car park.  Vehicular access would utilise the existing car park when it was open with a proposed drop-off point adjacent the footpath connection.  When the car park was closed cars would use the existing entrance and pedestrians would then access the new footpath via Joe Blunts Lane.
  • The proposed opening hours for the skate park of 8am to 9.30pm on weekdays and 8am to 5.30pm at weekends would align with the opening hours of the Academy sports facilities. 
  • Lighting would be turned off 30 minutes before the car park closed.
  • An additional CCTV camera would be installed in the car park to provide a view of the skate park.
  • Details of the Management Plan had been submitted.
  • Many other sites had been considered but none had been suitable or available.  Access could not be secured to the previous site with planning permission.


The merits and issues of the application were then explained.  The leisure use was consistent with the adjacent use and the location was away from housing so there were no noise amenity issues.  It was also consistent with the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) proposals which showed the adjacent land as open space.  With regard to the SUE a correction was pointed out.  The report referred to Phase 1, but that was for 1000 houses.  The land adjacent the site formed part of Phase 2 of the SUE which was not likely to start for seven to ten years.


The key concerns were the suitability of the site in terms of surveillance and safety as it was not directly overlooked.  Those concerns were addressed by the proposal to tie the opening hours to those of the sports facility, the additional CCTV camera and the fact that the site would be managed by the Town Council in conjunction with the local community.


It was noted that a public right of way already existed and the skate park would not alter that.


The ambulance and fire services had confirmed that they had no access issues.


Members were reminded that they needed to consider the suitability of the site applied for rather than the availability of other sites.


The local County  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94a


Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No






Mr P Garner

Saham Toney



Mr & Mrs P Andrews









RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: SAHAM TONEY: Greys Farm, Hills Road, Saham Hills: Demolish workshop and outbuildings and erect 3 dwellings with associated parking and amenity space: Applicant: Mr P Garner: Reference: 3PL/2014/0602/F


For transparency Councillor Bowes declared a non-pecuniary interest in some nearby land.  She did not take part in the discussion and refrained from voting.


This application was on a brownfield site, previously in commercial use.  The local character was varied with a mixture of old and new properties and the development was not considered to be out of place.  The site was part in and part outside the Settlement Boundary.


Highways had raised an objection due to the lack of visibility at the access.  The fencing and hedging restricting visibility were not in the applicant’s ownership.  As the site had permission for commercial use the traffic implications were not considered to be significant.


Part of the access track was not in the ownership of the applicant and therefore any improvement works would have to be carefully conditioned, with no development before the works were complete.


Overall the impact was considered to be small with significant benefits from the removal of the large commercial building.


Mr Valk (Objector) lived close to the site and his property used the same access track.  His main concern was localised flooding.  The land sloped down to his house and any additional hardstanding on the application site could exacerbate existing problems and the flood risk to his house.


Mr Futter (Agent) advised that there was no rainwater provision on the existing site and it was almost 100% impermeable.  However, the proposal had permeable paving, garden areas and a drainage scheme with provision for a 100 years storm.  The site was currently unsightly and the commercial use could be intensified.  A previous permission for two dwellings had lapsed. 


Councillor Lamb asked why the new proposal was for three houses and the Agent advised that it was a more efficient use of the land.


Councillor Spencer asked how the Unilateral Undertaking was calculated and the Officer explained that there was a formula in the Local Plan which required a certain amount per dwelling, depending on the number of bedrooms.


Councillor Sharpe asked if the site was definitely viable in view of the amount of money it would take to decontaminate the land, etc.  The Agent confirmed that it was.


Councillor Claussen asked what the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) advised with regard to such applications.  It was explained that the NPPF required a balanced view and for various factors to be taken into account including environmental issues, form and character, efficient use of land, re-use of brownfield sites, housing, economic benefits, etc.


Councillor North had no objection to the proposal.  She asked if the application had full drainage details to protect the objector.

Only basic details had been provided but the Officer confirmed that it would be possible to add a condition requiring them.  Another condition would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.


Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place.


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) pdf icon PDF 50 KB


Councillor North asked for statistics about the number of successful appeals and the Planning Manager said they would be reported to the next Committee.


The report was otherwise noted.