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 115 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2015.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.





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 correspondence concerning Agenda Item 8a Carbrooke and Agenda Item 9 (Schedule Item 2) Watton.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman noted that Councillors were elected to help their community and at the weekend he had assumed the role of Town Crier to help Swaffham celebrate its Market’s 800th anniversary.



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 40 KB

To receive an update. 


The Planning Policy Team Leader gave a brief update of the information in the agenda.  The Council were actively consulting on the Dereham Town Council application for Neighbourhood Planning Area designation.  The documents were available on the planning policy page of the Council’s web site.  Anyone wishing to comment should review the notices and application.


The next meeting of the Local Plan Working Group (LPWG) would take place on Tuesday 28 July 2015 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room and the agenda for that meeting would be published shortly.


Councillor Claussen felt that the Planning Committee needed a briefing to give advice on what they could and could not do to protect communities from unwanted development.  Members understood that they had a duty to the Council and could not overturn recommendations which would lead to expensive costs at appeal.  At the moment national policies seemed to be directed at development within the M25 and were not relevant to rural communities.


The Chairman understood his concerns.   As an authority the Council was doing what it could.  He invited the Leader of the Council to comment.


Councillor Wassell did not disagree with Councillor Claussen’s comments and said that he heard similar from every Council.  He had raised the issue with the Secretary of State and made him aware of their frustrations.


Councillor Duigan again asked about progress on the Thetford Sustainable Urban Development site.  When houses started to be built there it would help the Council’s housing land supply situation.


The Planning Contract Manager advised that numerous meetings had taken place to address the various legal issues.  The agreement was reaching fruition and the planning permission should be issued at the end of the month.


Councillor Duigan also sought clarification about ‘Green Space Designation’.  He was advised that it was a term from the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and referred to space that had importance for local people.  Town and Parish Councils had been invited to submit such areas of land and hopefully those sites would get designated in the new Local Plan.


Councillor Clarke echoed Councillor Claussen’s comments and said that the national policies made a mockery of Localism.  District Councillors were elected to voice local concerns.


Councillor Newton asked for information on the number of brownfield sites which had been approved and refused, year to date and the same information for the number of greenfield sites, compared to 2014.


The information would be provided at the next meeting.


Councillor Smith wholly endorsed Councillor Claussen’s comments.  The NPPF presumption in favour of development in the absence of the required housing land supply had unbalanced the planning system.  In the short term he suggested that Developers should be required to prove that the sustainable criteria applied to their proposals and the three criteria should be considered as a coherent whole.  As the Local Plan developed he hoped that a rebalancing would take place.


The Chairman was glad that the Leader had been present to hear Members’ concerns.



Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 43 KB

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


CARBROOKE: Bridge Street: New house and garage (resubmission): Applicant: Mr Alexander Bone Reference: 3PL/2014/0687/F pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Report of the Executive Director Place.

Additional documents:


All Members had received direct correspondence.


The application had been deferred from the September 2014 meeting for further information.


The key issues were outlined for the benefit of new Members to the Committee.  Although additional details of tree survey and ecological work had been submitted the concluding view was that concerns had not been satisfactorily addressed.  Refusal was recommended with an additional reason that insufficient information had been provided to overcome concerns about the effect of the development on bats, reptiles, etc.


Mr Clegg (Objector) said the site was unsuitable for development as it was in an area prone to flooding.  There had been sewer failures on occasion.  The road access was dangerous being opposite a T-junction with seriously limited visibility which did not meet Highways requirements.


Mrs Bone (for Applicant) said the proposal would provide a modest dwelling in the heart of Carbrooke.  There had previously been buildings on the site, which had never been known to flood.  The ground floor levels had been adjusted to overcome concerns.  Drainage techniques would mitigate surface water run-off.  The access had been in existence for many years and had been used by a horsebox for ten years.  The tree report responded in detail to concerns.


Councillor Rogers (Ward Representative) fully supported the proposal.  The raised floor level overcame flooding concerns.  Visibility requirements could be met and a tree survey had been submitted.


Mr Evans (Agent) confirmed that a tree survey had been submitted with the application and additional details had been provided.


Councillor Claussen asked if the flood risk had been mitigated and was advised that the Environment Agency requested refusal and if Members were minded to go against that advice the application would have to be referred to the Secretary of State.


RESOLVED to refuse the application on the grounds set out in the original report to Committee dated 1 September 2014 and an additional reason of insufficient ecological information.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Orbit Homes (2020) Limited

Great Ellingham



Gladman Developments Ltd




Mr Rob Lond-Caulk




Breckland Council




Mr J Daniels




Mr Jack Passant




Mr & Mrs G Bucke




Mr T Taylor





Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)       Item 1: GREAT ELLINGHAM: Land at Attleborough Road: Residential development for 39 dwellings (Revised scheme): Applicant: Orbit Homes (2020) Limited: Reference: 3PL/2014/0683/F


The Chairman clarified comments made by a Parish Councillor about Councillor Smith and Councillor Jordan (NCC) which implied a possibility of pre-determination on the application.  There had been a mix up of wording which had since been corrected and there was no such issue.


This application had received a good deal of local opposition.  It had been amended several times to try to address the issues but the local objections had not been overcome.


Great Ellingham was a small Service Centre Village with a number of local facilities which would all derive an element of support from new development.  The site was not isolated and was close to the centre of the village but it had an open aspect which contributed to the rural character and would be radically changed by the development.  However, the design and layout were acceptable and would be a good fit for the surroundings.


Highway safety was a particular concern to local residents and the Parish Council due to the volume of traffic, speeds and impact on the access to the school.  Significant amendments had been made including improvements to footways, pedestrian crossing points and a part time 20mph speed limit, and NCC Highways had no objections.  There was therefore no basis to refuse the application on highway grounds.


In conclusion, the development met the requirements of the NPPF and would provide affordable housing.  In the Officers’ view, on balance the application was acceptable subject to conditions and obligations.


Councillor Jordan (NCC) had been inundated by concerns about the danger of the junction and the safety of residents.  The improvements were not good enough.  A roundabout was required, or the junction needed to be moved to reduce the danger.  It was the wrong place for development and would put lives at risk.


Mr Betts (Parish Council Chairman) explained that the Parish had adopted a policy for small sustainable development of up to 12 dwellings, but they had excluded the Hingham Road area due to safety concerns.  Under that policy 40 new homes had been supported in recent months and ten more were coming.  The Parish Council's reasons for not supporting the current application were itemised in the report.  In short, 39 homes were unsustainable and would unbalance the village.  The doctors had no spare capacity, the bus service was not sufficient and the road was not safe.  Video evidence of the danger of the junction had been given to the Highways authority.


Mrs Whettingsteel (Agent) noted that planning circumstances had changed and Councils were under pressure to deliver more houses in sustainable locations such as this.  The development was of sufficient scale to fully contribute to the village.  The scheme would improve the village hall, provide highway improvements, affordable housing and bring funding through the New Homes Bonus scheme.  The layout had been carefully  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.


Review of Council's Local List (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Report of the Executive Director Place.

Additional documents:


The Principal Planning Officer presented the report and explained the reason for having a Local List.


The National List of what must be submitted with a planning application provided a bare minimum of information and in most cases additional details were required before a decision could be made.  The Local List included those items which most regularly needed to be provided.  The list had to be reviewed every two years and the last review had been carried out in July 2013.


The review ensured that the List was up to date and relevant.  Consultations had been carried out on the list through the website and by letter to local agents and agencies.  Only three responses had been received and they had been seeking points of clarification.  All the proposed changes met legislative requirements.


RESOLVED that the revised Local List for the Validation of Planning Applications be adopted.



Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 80 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 12) pdf icon PDF 8 KB





Exclusion of Press & Public (Agenda Item 13)

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”.







The resolution was not moved.



Enforcement Update (Agenda Item 14)

Verbal update by the Enforcement Manager.


As the Enforcement Manager was unavailable the update was deferred until the next meeting.