Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Dereham

Contact: Julie Britton 

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2014.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2014 were agreed as a correct record.



Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive any apologies for absence.





Declarations of Interest (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.






Urgent Business (Agenda item 4)

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.





Non Members wishing to address the meeting (Agenda item 5)

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.


Councillors North, Matthews, T. Carter, Cowen, Darby, Duigan, Joel and Martin.


Mr Roger Atterwill, Chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council was also in attendance.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 6)





Neighbourhood Plans (Standing Item) (Agenda item 7)

To receive an update.


The Council had received another Neighbourhood Plan from Mattishall Parish Council which would be presented to the Cabinet meeting in March 2015.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris felt that some form of delegated power should be put in place to meet the designated timeframe under the new regulations.


The Planning Policy Team Leader advised that Kenninghall’s Neighbourhood Plan had recently been designated. 


Attleborough Town Council had submitted a draft timeline for its Neighbourhood Plan.  Phil Mileham, the Deputy Planning Manager would be looking into this as the timeline was considered to be rather ambitious.


The interest in Neighbourhood Planning had increased since the publication of the Issues and Options document.  Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC) had organised a Neighbourhood Plan event which had been planned for 27 March 2015 and a representative from the DCLG had been invited to attend.  The event was being held at Elizabeth House, Dereham from 10am until 4pm.  This event had also been advertised by NALC and emails from them had been sent out to all Town & Parish Councils.  The same email would be sent to Breckland Council Members for information.  Martin Pendlebury, the Director of Planning & Business Manager felt that this was a golden opportunity for all Town & Parish Councils to gain more understanding of the process and funding streams.  Councillor Joel pointed out that Broadland District Council had been very pro-active around its Neighbourhood Plans and believed that Breckland should be doing the same.  Councillor Duigan stated that if every village produced a Neighbourhood Plan it was not just about the process and funding it should also be about having local expertise.   He also mentioned the Elections in May where such matters as Neighbourhood Plans could change depending on which Party was elected.   The Planning & Business Manager stated that bringing forward a whole raft of Neighbourhood Plans was an issue and was something that the Council should consider.  There were other options, such as the approach Shipdham was taking which was piggybacking off the work already done on the Local Plan that could be appropriate for some communities.  Councillor Cowen felt that the clock should be wound back slightly to ascertain why Neighbourhood Plans were brought in to start with.  In rural areas, tightly knit communities did not exist, nor did they exist in market towns.   Breckland’s Local Plan was meant to be inclusive and in his opinion, Planners had struggled to engage with communities and it was the Local Plan process that the Council should be focusing on as well as trying to engage with local communities.  The Council needed to work smarter on how it could make the Local Plan work for its communities and parishes and town councils should be encouraged to take a much more active role in the Local Plan process so that we as a Council could then deliver what was really needed.  Councillor Turner then explained the approach being taken by Shipdham Parish Council.  Shipdham had ruled out the value of a Neighbourhood Plan and was going down  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7/15


Duty to Cooperate (Standing item) (Agenda item 8)

To receive an update.


The Localism Act (2011) set out legislative background for Duty to Cooperate which was in the form of a legal test that Local Plans must pass through in order to be found sound.   An informal Duty to Cooperate (DtC) Forum had been set up to address the government’s requirements for Local Planning Authorities to cooperate on cross boundary issues through their Local Plans.  It had since been proposed that the set up of the DtC should be reviewed and as a result five potential options had been put forward from the DtC recommending a more formal cooperation through a shared non-statutory strategic framework.  A paper would be presented to the next Cabinet meeting.


A number of issues were highlighted including the land supply, the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) deliverability and environmental impact.


Councillor Cowen felt that it was the 6 year land supply that had thrown all Breckland’s calculations out the window as well as the problems with control under the EU regulations.  Councils faced many challenges and faced a very difficult task in delivering large amounts of growth and the same problems would remain following the Elections in May which all Councillors would have to manage for the benefit of the District.



Breckland Retail Study 2014 (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Report of the Planning Policy Team Leader.


The Breckland Retail Study (Appendix A) is attached as a separate document.

Additional documents:


The document had been amended in accordance with Members’ requests made at the previous meeting.  The changes that had been made had been highlighted at section 2 of the report.


Councillor Duigan felt that the towns should be considered separately.  The Planning Policy Team Leader felt that this was an area that Members and Officers could work on together and there was an option of preparing a town centre strategy which had been highlighted in a question in the Issues and Options document. 


The Chairman highlighted a further amendment that was needed on pages 109 and 110 of the Retail Study document in relation to motorcycle sales – page 109 contradicted the information that had been included on page 110.  It was agreed that this error would be changed prior to the document being published.


Referring to the study zone areas on page 69 of the document, Councillor Kiddle-Morris asked how this had been put together in relation to the zones for Thetford and Diss.  Members were informed that this information had been based on a telephone survey response.  Councillor North said that she appreciated the town centre maps but in her opinion there were still a number of anomalies on pages 114/115 of the document in table 3.  It was agreed that she would send updated survey data to the Planning Policy Team Leader after the meeting and they would discuss how to include this information.


Referring to page 20 of the document under section 4.6 where it stated that “the study area is sub-divided into five zones”, Councillor Kiddle-Morris pointed out that the study area had actually been sub-divided into six zones and asked for this adjustment to be made.


Councillor Turner referred Members to page 99 of the document where it stated that survey respondents would shop more often in Thetford Town Centre if more/cheaper car parking was available.  She had been very surprised at this response as all parking was free in Breckland and you could not get much cheaper than that.  The Planning Policy Team Leader said that this had been the perception of the people surveyed. Councillor Cowen felt that Members would pick this up at some point and suggested removing the word ‘cheaper’ altogether.


Councillor Martin hoped that the yellow line on the Attleborough Town Centre map would be expanded.


Councillor Darby referred to page 102 of the document in relation to the column being left blank for the number of charity, second hand shops in 2010 and felt that the word ‘unknown’ should be put there instead.


The Chairman queried the meaning of the average sales density figures on page 29 of the Retail Study document particularly in relation to Watton.  Members were informed that Watton and Attleborough sales densities were relatively higher than the other market towns because these town centres predominately had small high street shop units with limited sales areas but trading at a higher density.


RESOLVED that subject to the aforementioned amendments being incorporated the findings of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9/15