Venue: Regency Room, The Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Swaffham
Contact: Committee Services Tel: 01362 656870
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2007.
Minute 34/07 was corrected by the addition of Mr A.P. Joel’s name to the list of apologies for absence.
With regard to Minute 37/07, the Chairman corrected this item to clarify that all the addresses concerned were in the parish of Carbrooke but with the exception of one, all were classified as Watton for postal purposes. It also gave rise to children being sent to Watton schools instead of to the local school in Carbrooke.
Subject to the above corrections, the minutes of the meeting held on 22 May 2007 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Mr R.P. Childerhouse and Mr P.J. Duigan.
Declaration of Interest
Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in any of the following items on the agenda. The Members' Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a personal or prejudicial interest.
The Chairman declared the following interests:
Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting
To note the names of any non-members wishing to address the meeting.
The following Members were in attendance:
Report of the Operations Manager (Environment)
The Principal Planning Officer presented the report, which informed Members of progress on the Breckland Local Development Framework (LDF) and the latest best practice and advice on how to prepare the LDF and the new spatial planning agenda. Additionally, the report assessed Breckland’s progress on its LDF in relation to surrounding authorities. The report also re-affirmed the key tests to which every LDF, including Breckland’s, would be subject through the independent Examination process and drew out examples from those authorities who had so far failed to deliver a sound LDF.
The fact that guidance accompanying the 2004 Planning Act was continuing to evolve had impinged on progress of the LDF and there was a requirement to incorporate spatial planning within the LDF. This was a new element, moving away from the solely land-use planning approach which had previously underpinned the Local Plan system. In essence, spatial planning involved:
Breckland’s spatial planning would be informed by the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), the adoption of which would be delayed until autumn 2007 at the earliest to allow further time for impact assessments on European Habitats in the Region (a process known as Appropriate Assessment). This work would be critical to the Breckland context given the proximity of European Habitats to Thetford and that Breckland would need the clarity of the Regional Appropriate Assessment to advance its own LDF.
It was explained that, although the authority was in the third year of the new system and it was appreciated that there was some anxiety over the time being taken to produce the LDF, nevertheless Breckland was making reasonable progress in the local context and there were a number of factors which had influenced the position and needed to be taken into account. These included:
Report of the Operations Manager (Environment)
The Principal Planning Officer presented the report, which summarised details of the content of the recent draft Norfolk Minerals and Waste Development Framework (NMWDF) prepared by the County Council and the subject of consultation. As the Local Planning Authority, it was important that Breckland Council was aware of the County’s plans for minerals and waste and how this affected Breckland’s LDF Strategy, policies and sites.
The NMWDF was due to be adopted by April 2009. The NMWDF had two functions: (1) to plan for how much waste was produced in the County and how it was dealt with, and (2) how much mineral extraction was needed to meet the scale of proposed growth (both in terms of population growth and new homes and infrastructure). Like the Breckland LDF, the County NMWDF would include a separate Site Specifics document outlining the proposed sites for mineral extraction and waste processing and a draft of this document was due in spring 2008.
Key issues highlighted in the NMWDF were:
Strategy options were:
So far as minerals were concerned, the supply in Norfolk was varied. National and regional policy expected local authorities to maximise the use of recycled aggregates in building products. The County Council’s preferred way forward for minerals included:
- Ensure the County land bank for minerals was above the national requirement
- Require greater use of recycled aggregates in developments
- To ensure minerals are extracted place no restriction on the size of mineral development approval
In addressing waste, the NMWDF proposed to:
- Require developer contributions from waste proposals towards local waste minimisation schemes
- Encourage waste recovery methods dependent on their carbon footprint
- Encourage energy from waste (anaerobic digestion, landfill gas, thermal treatment)
- Only allow for new landfill where capacity fell below a certain threshold
So far as transport issues were concerned, the NMWDF proposed to reduce demand for travel by
- Allocating minerals and waste sites close to the markets they would primarily serve
- Giving priority to sites that had the most potential to enable the use of rail and water-borne freight
- Avoiding minerals and waste developments where road safety and road width (less than 6.1m) were known issues and giving priority to sites that accessed directly on to the designated HGV route hierarchy
With regard to the environment, the County Council was proposing that the balance between environmental protection and the need for mineral and ... view the full minutes text for item 44.
Postal Addresses at Carbrooke/Watton (Agenda Item 8)
At its meeting on 22 May the Panel added the issue of the postal addressing of properties within the parish of Carbrooke yet addressed in Watton onto the work programme (Minute 37/07 refers). Royal Mail has been contacted about this issue and their response is reproduced below.
“Postal addresses are not intended to describe a precise geographical or administrative area. It is a sorting and routing instruction to postal staff which enables mail to reach its destination from any part of the country. Post code boundaries do not always mirror those of other institutions, such as county borders, as these often change with County Council responsibility. On occasion anomalies between postal geographical and administrative boundaries will arise and this is one such occasion”.
The Scrutiny Officer reported the reply received from Royal Mail on the question raised at the last meeting. The Chairman’s comments noted above (minute 39/07) clarifying the issue were noted.
The Chairman reiterated that he was continuing to press the point with Royal Mail that parish names should be included in postal addresses.
The point was made that there was nothing to stop people adding the parish name into their postal address if this was not already the case.
The position was noted.
Work Programme and Meeting Schedule (Agenda Item 9)
Members are invited to consider any additional items or topics for inclusion on the future work programme.
Items currently listed in the Panel’s programme were confirmed as:
The following additional matters were put forward for inclusion in the programme:
Referring back to agenda item 7 and the consultation on options for waste within the NMWDF document, a member drew attention to the fact that only single loads were being accepted at the existing recycling centre in Thetford, which she felt was resulting in increases in fly tipping in and around the town. She felt this was something that needed to be reviewed.
Another member suggested that the interim solution used in Dereham, where lorries were parked on one day a week to take recycling waste, might be taken up elsewhere.
The Environmental Planning Manager felt it would be necessary to agree an additional meeting date towards the end of August to meet the existing LDF timetable.
an additional meeting date be agreed for 10.00am Thursday, 30
August 2007 (venue to be arranged);
the item on Thetford Growth Point Status be incorporated into the
(3) an update on the Snetterton electricity supply issue be provided to this or other Panel as may be appropriate.
Next Meeting (Agenda Item 10)
To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on Tuesday, 18 September 2007 at 10.00am in the Council Chamber, Town Council Offices, King’s House, Thetford.
As agreed under the foregoing item, the next meeting of the Panel would take place on Thursday, 30 August 2007 at 10.00am.