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 102 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2014.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2014 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 Councillors Bowes, T Carter, Lamb and Sharpe.  Councillors Joel and W Richmond were present as Substitutes.



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.


Agenda Item 9 – Schedule Item 3 (Hardingham) All Members had received direct correspondence.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The date of the Planning Coach Tour had been set for Friday 14 November 2014.



Requests to Defer Applications included in this Agenda (Agenda Item 5)

To consider any requests from Ward Members, officers or applicants to defer an application included in this agenda, so as to save any unnecessary waiting by members of the public attending for such applications.





Urgent Business (Agenda Item 6)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


The Chairman advised Members that an application for a solar farm at Bridgham would be on the next agenda.  He proposed a site visit in advance of the next meeting as he felt that viewing was essential for Members to be able to determine the application.  All Members agreed. 


Members would be notified of the date and time of the Site Visit in due course.




Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


Local Plan

At the Cabinet meeting on 22 October consultation on the Issues and Options document had been agreed.  The consultation would take place between 17 November and 9 January 2015.  It had been extended to eight weeks rather than 6 to take account of the Christmas period.


There would be a pre-launch briefing on 4 November for the Association of Local Councils which would take place in Thetford and on 17 November there would be a drop-in session for Town and Parish Councils only from 2pm to 7pm in the Anglia Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham.


Public drop-in sessions would take place on:


20 November – Dereham Memorial Hall (2pm-7pm)

24 November – Swaffham Assembly Rooms (2pm – 6:30pm)

27 November – Watton Queens Hall (2pm – 7pm)

4 December – Attleborough Town Council (2pm-6pm)

9 December – Thetford Guildhall (2pm-7pm)


The consultation was open to everyone and people could comment on the Local Plan either by using the online consultation portal, by email or by post. The Local Plan Issues and Options document would be posted to all parish councils and copies would also be placed in the libraries and customer service centres. The consultation would include a call for sites for people to submit any land which they would like to be allocated through the Local Plan process.


Neighbourhood Plan

Initial correspondence had been received from Kenninghall Parish Council regarding the designation of a neighbourhood plan area for the parish. When further details were received they would be published for a six week consultation period prior to the designation being considered by Cabinet.


Norwich Northern Distributor Route

A Statement of Common Ground comprehensively addressing all the mitigation measures identified for Breckland had been agreed with County Highways and submitted to the Planning Inspector in October 2014.


Councillor Claussen did not think that all the mitigation measures had been agreed and he hoped that the affected Parish Councils would be consulted.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Baker & Nisbet Ltd




De Merke Estates








Mr Peter Karalis




Mr & Mrs Thatcher




Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: THETFORD: 27 Croxton Road: Variation of S106 on p/p 3PL/2012/0509/F – to remove the obligation to provide affordable housing: Applicant: Baker & Nisbet Ltd: Reference: 3OB/2014/0009/OB


This application requested the removal of the requirement for two affordable houses.  The site was in an advanced stage of construction.  A detailed appraisal had been submitted and the site was not viable with two affordable houses.  There was concern that the development would not be completed if the obligation was retained.


In response to a question the Solicitor clarified that the legal agreement went with the land, not the developer.


Thetford Members in particular did not agree that the site would not be completed.  The housing market was booming and the opening of the A11 dual carriageway was likely to improve things further. 


Councillor Robinson asked if the option of providing one affordable house had been explored.


The Chairman agreed with the Members and asked the Planning Manager to clarify the issues.

The Planning Manager shared Members’ frustration but was concerned that the application was under a section of the Planning Act with the right of appeal if a decision was not made within 28 days.  That did not allow time to get the District Valuer to assess viability. 


The Solicitor asked Members to exercise caution as a detailed viability appraisal had been submitted which said that the affordable housing could not be provided.  The Council would be required to provide evidence of viability to support a refusal at appeal.


Further debate followed.  Some Members questioned the accuracy of the figures.  Councillor Joel pointed out that the price of raw materials had risen and there was a shortage of bricklayers, but he agreed that house prices were also going up.


The Planning Manager did not doubt the veracity of the Agent’s case however only two options had been considered; one with two affordable houses and the other with none.  He suggested that the developers could be requested to consider the option of providing one affordable house although Members needed to be mindful that they might choose to go straight to appeal.


Deferred, for the Developer’s to be asked to consider providing one affordable house.


b)         Item 2: SWAFFHAM: Land off New Sporle Road: 55 dwellings with access: Applicant: De Merke Estates: Reference: 3PL/2014/0358/O


This application proposed development on a site adjacent the A47 which was not allocated for housing and was outside the Settlement Boundary and therefore contrary to Policy.  However, due to the Council’s lack of Housing Land Supply there was a presumption in favour of sustainable development.  The site was well related to the built up area of the town and well screened.  The indicative layout could be amended to mitigate noise concerns due to the proximity of the A47.  It was not considered that the wind turbines nearby would cause any problems.  The proposal included 40% affordable housing, but no viability appraisal had been provided.


Councillor Matthews (Ward  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.


Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 100 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 55 KB


Councillor North had requested a breakdown of the appeals statistics at the previous meeting.


The Planning Manager advised that there had been 17 Planning Appeals of which 11 had been dismissed and six allowed.  He pointed out however, that 50% of those allowed had been the three related Kenninghall appeals. 


With regard to Enforcement Appeals there had been eight of which one had been upheld, one overturned, two withdrawn and two were still outstanding.


Overall of the 25 Appeals eight had been allowed.




Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Item 12)

To consider passing the following resolution:


“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act”




RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.



Enforcement Update (Agenda Item 13)

Verbal update by the Enforcement Manager.


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


The Enforcement Team Leader provided an update to Members on the work of his team which included the monitoring of Section 106 agreements and Unilateral Undertakings.


Currently there were 110 live S106 agreements and 149 unilaterals with 28 more in the pipeline and 49 ancillary S106s.


In the current quarter there had been 144 enforcement complaints, compared to 99 in the last quarter.  86 cases had been closed in the last quarter and 112 had been closed in the current quarter.  In comparison the numbers for the same quarters last year were 19 and 36 respectively.  Case closures were much improved due to a more pro-active approach by the team.


Work was continuing to customise the new Ocella module.  In time it would generate quarterly reports which would be sent to Members and Parish Councils to provide an update on live cases and the information would also be available on the website in due course.  No sensitive information would be published.


Enforcement Notices were then discussed and the Enforcement Team Leader gave Members information on on-going cases.


The Chairman thanked the Enforcement Team Leader for his update.