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 101 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 December 2014.


With regard to Minute No 131/14(b) (Dereham) the Head of Development Management noted a correction to information given in paragraph eight on page seven of the agenda.   There had actually been four additional reasons for refusal, which Members would be able to take into consideration at the next meeting when the item would be brought back to the Committee.


Subject to that amendment the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 December 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 Councillor Pam Spencer.  Councillor William Richmond 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.


Agenda Item 9:  All Members had received direct representation on Schedule Items 4 (Bridgham) and 9 (Mattishall).



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman advised Members that Agenda Item 9 - Schedule Item 9 (Mattishall) would be discussed after 2pm.



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.





Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Director of Planning & Business Manager gave a brief update. 


Breckland Local Plan  

The issues and options consultation had closed on 9 January 2015 and representations were being processed and analysed. A good level of response had been received with over 1000 individual comments from more than 100 individuals and a good response from Town and Parish Councils and other statutory consultees.


The next meeting of the Council’s Local Plan Working Group on 6 February 2015 would consider the initial responses to the consultation.


The current timeline for the Local Plan would see the preferred options consultation occur in the summer, with the anticipated adoption date of the document remaining at the end of 2016.


Local Plan Evidence Base

Work was continuing on the preparation of the evidence base to support the development of policies and proposals within the Local Plan.  Further work had been carried out by the consultants on the Retail and Town Centre Study, and this would also be considered at the Local Plan Working Group on 6 February 2015.


The joint Strategic Housing Market Assessment was also in preparation, and was expected to be completed by the end of February 2015.  The document would help to inform Breckland’s Objectively Assessed Housing Needs.


Neighbourhood Plans

Cabinet on 13 January 2015 had agreed to designate the neighbourhood plan area boundary for Kenninghall which followed the parish boundary. The designation was the first step in the production of a neighbourhood plan.


The Government had released a response to its consultation on neighbourhood plans predominantly relating to the consultation periods for the designation of neighbourhood plan area boundaries.  For plans which followed parish boundaries the consultation period had been reduced. However, for more complex proposals, which either cross parish boundaries or local authority boundaries, the consultation period had been extended.


For further information on either the Local Plan or on neighbourhood plans please contact the Planning Policy Team via email or phone 01362 656873.


Councillor Sharpe asked if the amount of affordable housing in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment was likely to be affected by the change in legislation and he was advised that the amount would remain the same but delivery would be more of a challenge.


Councillor Claussen asked if Members could be kept updated on the progress of the Local Plan with regard to how much weight existing and emerging Policies should carry in the decision making process.



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.





Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Norfolk Children’s Services




Mr & Mrs De Boos




Benjamin James Development Ltd




RE:think Energy Limited




Mr John Davies

Little Cressingham



Mr/Mrs D Stebbings




Mr & Mrs B Motts




Mr & Mrs Chris Negus




Gladman Developments Ltd




Mr Paul Gardner

Little Dunham



Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)         Item 1: THETFORD: Drake Infant School & Nursery, Fairfields: Remodel existing building, external spaces and new car park and single storey new build extensions: Applicant: Norfolk Children’s Services: Reference: 3CM/2014/0019/CM


Members were advised that Norfolk County Council was the decision maker for this application and that Breckland Council was just a consultee.  The Ward Representative had asked for the matter to be brought to Committee as he considered it to be contentious.


It was proposed to remodel the existing school and add extensions and additional parking by using some of the open spaces to either side of the building.  It was also proposed to fence off the school playing field for school use only although some open space would remain for public use.


The Town Council had made comments direct to NCC raising concerns about the loss of amenity open space for local residents and issues of flooding, parking and highway safety.  They wanted a new school not an extended one.

The issues to be considered were balancing the benefits against the loss of open space.  Officers felt that the proposals were acceptable as long as access was provided for the wider community and NCC had agreed to explore that at a meeting with the Town Council in February.


Councillor Lamb was not the Ward Representative but had attended the meeting of the Town Council when the application was discussed.  He pointed out that this was the closest school to the Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) which would bring infrastructure.  The Town Council was concerned that if this school was extended to cope with the influx from the new development it might mean that the SUE would not provide a new school.  He also pointed out that the area of open space was not large; ownership of the land was in question; the road was a dead end which created enormous congestion; and that permission would double the size of the school.


Councillor North wanted the public to have access to facilities at all times.


Councillor Chapman-Allen knew the area well and there had always been parking problems.  The school had been identified for expansion some years ago and she welcomed the proposals to provide a new primary school and 46 parking spaces.


Councillor Robinson’s children had both attended the school and the overriding problem was congestion.  He asked if the 46 parking places would be for teachers or for drop-off by parents.   If the latter was the case it might alleviate the problem.  With regard to amenity space the larger area was well used.  The Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) had been located away from the houses but that could lead to anti social behaviour and it was close to the railway line which might lead to problems.


The Chairman noted the comments but pointed out that if the MUGA was closer to properties it could cause problems with noise.


Members were advised that land ownership had been checked and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.


Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 86 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 37 KB





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 Manager tabled a copy of the Planning Enforcement Guide which had been handed out at the Town & Parish Council Forum held on 15 January 2015.  He then gave a brief end of year report.


In 2013 there had been 413 cases and that had risen to 435 in 2014.  However, the big difference had been in the amount of cases which had been closed.  In 2013 only 131 cases had been closed, whereas in 2014 that number had risen to 460 which had meant a reduction in work load and an improved service to customers.


In 2013, 10 Enforcement Notices had been served compared to 8 in 2014.  80% of cases resulted in informal resolution.


102 Unilateral Undertakings were being monitored which brought money in for the local community.  81 S106 legal agreements were also being monitored along with 56 restrictive S106s.


Some individual cases were discussed and the outcomes were explained.


Members were impressed with the improvements.  Councillor Carter thanked the Enforcement Manager and his team for their robustness and keenness.


Councillor Sharpe asked what happened if planning obligations were not provided and the Enforcement Manager advised that the debt was owed to the Council.  Legal advice would be sought and it would be up to the Council to decide what action was required.


The Executive Member for Planning, Building Control & Housing expressed her thanks to the Enforcement Manager.  There had been a massive difference since he had been employed and the Parishes were much happier.


The Director of Planning & Business Manager said that communication was good.  The Enforcement Manager did ad-hoc meetings with Parish Councils to explain how Enforcement worked.  The next of those meetings would take place on 5 February at Wretham Village Hall and then 10 February in the Anglia Room, Conference Suite,  Elizabeth House, Dereham.


The Chairman thanked the Enforcement Manager for his update.