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 93 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2015.


With regard to Minute No 56/15 (Local Plan Update) Councillor Clarke asked that it be noted that he had asked a question about taking advantage of the Broadland District Council webpage regarding planning information.


With regard to Minute No 58/15d (Great Ellingham) Councillor Martin had raised flooding concerns without receiving a clear answer.  The Operations and Contract Manager (Planning Services) agreed to check that a condition re discharge of foul water would be applied.


Subject to those amendments the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2015 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 Bowes.  Councillor Joel 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 in 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 that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.


All Members had received direct representation regarding Agenda Item 9, Schedule Item 3 (Swaffham ) and Schedule Item 6 (Watton).



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman drew attention to the glossary of terms and abbreviations which had been added at the front of the agenda.



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) pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To receive an update. 


The Senior Planning Policy Officer advised that no significant milestones had been reached in the new Local Plan process.  Currently the team were focussing on the Spatial Strategy and Site Selection process. 


Councillor Claussen asked what was being done to mitigate the impact of the lack of a 5 Year Housing Land Supply.  He was advised that the Team were looking at the 500 sites that had been put forward for consideration.  The sites would be discussed at the Local Plan Working Group and all Members were invited to attend those meetings.

Councillor Clarke asked when the evidence base for water and flood capacity would be updated for the five market towns and the Service Centre villages.


A water cycle study was currently being done and a flood risk assessment would be done later working with Anglian Water and the Environment Agency.  It was expected that both would be completed in time for the next stage of the Local Plan.


Councillor Duigan asked if there had been any progress with the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension which had received planning permission over a year ago and would contribute to the Council’s housing land supply.  It was explained that the permission had not yet been issued as the legal details were still being finalised.  However, once the decision was issued it was expected that Phase One of the development would commence.


Councillor Joel asked at what stage of the Local Plan Members would be able to stop ‘land grabbing’ by developers.  


The Senior Planning Policy Officer said that the new Local Plan carried very little weight currently but as it progressed to the submission stage it would gain weight and be part of the material considerations that Members could take into account when determining applications.


The report was noted.



Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

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

Additional documents:


Watton: Plaswood, Griston Road: Erection of 31 Residential units comprising 18 Flats and 13 Houses: Applicant: Serruys Property Company Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2014/1314/O


Members were given a brief recap of the details of the application which had been deferred for an updated assessment by the District Valuer which had confirmed that despite an increase in the floor area the development could not support any financial contributions or affordable housing and even then would only realise a small profit.


The application was therefore recommended for approval subject to a legal agreement with a clawback clause in case profitability improved.


Mr Futter (Agent) pointed out that the site already had planning permission.  It was a brownfield site in a sustainable location which could not be delivered with the current obligations.  A developer was ready to start work and the applicant would accept a two year time limit and the clawback clause if the return was in excess of 17.5%.


Councillor Wassell (Ward Representative) was not opposed to development but was not happy about developers reneging on their financial obligations.  There were a number of other developments in Watton and an approval without obligations would set a dangerous precedent.  He suggested if Members were minded to approve that the clawback be set at 10%.


It was explained that 17.5% had been suggested by the District Valuer and was an industry standard for viability.


In response to a question the Agent explained the costs associated with development which included demolition and clearance of the site, site contamination works and providing a bund and acoustic fencing.


The Operations and Contract Manager (Planning Services) asked Members to be mindful of Government standards which required Local Authorities to be flexible on viability especially in relation to brownfield sites.




(1)  the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the section 106 agreement which should include a clawback clause; and

(2)  authority be delegated to the Council’s Planning Manager to refuse the application if the legal formalities in respect of the S106 agreement were not completed within three months of the date of the decision or another more appropriate time scale for the completion of any such agreement, with the approval of the Planning Manager.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 146 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr Nigel Armes


23 – 33

Appendix A – See Supplement


De Merke Estates


34 - 43


Swaffham Town Council


44 - 51


Emblem Homes Ltd


52 - 59


A F Machinery Limited


60 - 66


Hopkins Homes Limited


67 - 79


Mr Tim Wegg


80 - 86


Mrs Emma Kriehn-Morris

Little Dunham

87 - 93


Mr Allan Lynn


94 - 101


Mr & Mrs A & R Buschman


102 - 107


Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)       Item 1: KENNINGHALL: Green Farm Edge Green, Edge Green: Operational Development (Certificate of Existing Use.): Applicant: Mr Nigel Armes: Reference: 3PL/2014/0998/EU


Members questioned why this application had come to Committee when, on the surface, it appeared that it could not really be refused.


Mr Horn pointed out that under delegated powers he had the jurisdiction to make decisions on Certificate of Lawfulness of Existing Use or Development (CLEUD) applications.  However, this matter was a particularly contentious issue in Kenninghall, and he had felt that it would be right and proper for this application to come to Committee for final decision.  The only real area of discretion for Members (as opposed to decision of fact and law) was the issue of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and whether, in the Members’ opinion, there were any significant environmental impacts.  However, Committee also needed to consider very carefully whether or not it agreed with the legal conclusions that Officers had reached based on the evidence contained in the application itself.  This was a complex issue, with 44 individual legal decisions to be made based on the facts presented in the application, and in each case, the legal test had to be satisfied on the balance of probability.


The Planning Officer gave a short presentation to explain the background to the application which dealt with the operational side of development only (i.e. not use).  Members were asked to consider whether they agreed, on the balance of probability, that the Applicant’s legal arguments had been made out based on the evidence contained within the application, and also with the Officer’s overall conclusion that the development would not give rise to any significant environmental impact. 


It was also pointed out that Crown Chicken had signed a Unilateral Undertaking to restrict HGV movements between 10.00pm and 07.00am.


Mr Walters (Objector) said that the evidence accepted by Officers included false statements with regard to noise and highways.  He urged Members not to approve the application until all the issues had been resolved.


Mr Mehta (Agent) said that under current regulations, an EIA was not part of the determination of a CLEUD application, but in light of concerns raised, the Applicant had carried out an EIA in this case.  It was clear from the technical evidence that there were no significant effects on the environment.


Councillor Smith asked if a subsequent application could/would trigger highway concerns, and if so, whether these concerns could be conditioned.


Mr Horn responded that he understood from the Applicant’s Agent that there would be two further separate applications: a CLEUD application for use only (the present application being one for operational development only) and a ‘standard’ planning application which would deal with everything not previously covered by the two previous CLEUD applications.  This third application could have conditions imposed in the normal way, if appropriate.


It was pointed out by the Planning Lawyer that the current CLEUD application was a Yes/No decision, with no power  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.


Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 33 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 42 KB





Applications determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 12)) pdf icon PDF 25 KB