Agenda item

Site Specific Policies & Proposals Development Plan Document 2001-2026 - Proposed Submission Document (Agenda Item 4)

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive in conjunction with the Executive Member for Planning, Health & Housing.


The recommendation to Council from the Cabinet meeting held on 11 January 2011 will be reported verbally.


The Development Services Manager introduced the report which he hoped Members would agree had been worth waiting for.


The Site Specifics Policy document did not include areas covered by the Thetford Area Action Plan or the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Action Plan, but did cover the rest of the district.  It set out the broad principles and parameters of growth and identified suitable sites for housing and employment.


The consultations had taken place over a long period of time which had given Parish Councils and other Stakeholders the opportunity to provide considered responses.  The process had been thorough and inclusive.  There had been lots of detailed discussions at the eight sessions of the LDF Task & Finish Group and at the additional mop-up meeting.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer and the Senior Planning Policy Officer then went through the summary of changes to the preferred options document by locations.


At this point it was clarified that the Officers would present their report in full before questions would be taken.


Market Towns:



Three sites were recommended for residential and two sites for employment development.  The employment site east of Dereham Business Park was amended to include the alternative site.  Retail development proposals within the town centre remained the same.  An area of land for Open Space and a new cemetery was allocated to the east of the football ground.



A single allocation for 250 homes, two employment areas near the A47 accessed via the Eco-tech site and two additional Open Space areas.



Four sites allocated for new housing - one of those sites to include additional land, for an extension to the high school.


Local Service Centres:



Originally proposed for an allocation of 50 homes, however, 65 homes had received recent planning approval therefore there was no need to release further land.



50 homes allocated – as per the Preferred Options Document.



Allocation reduced to 85 (from 100) on one site (The other preferred site having received planning permission).  A clarification on site references was provided following an enquiry from the Ward Member.


Swanton Morley

50 homes allocated on a single site.


Settlement Boundaries:


14 Settlement Boundary recommended for deletion or amendment had been reconsidered by the ‘mop-up’ LDF Task & Finish Group.  The Group had recommended the retention of 11 of those.  The changes were incorporated in the document and included an additional change to the Settlement Boundary of East Tuddenham to include land at ‘The Baynings’.


Habitats Regulations Assessment


This had been prepared in accordance with the Core Strategy Document.  Preliminary work had been undertaken already and indicated that there would be no adverse effects on European Sites from the allocations.


Publication of the Document


Approval was sought to publish the document prior to submission.  The publication period was proposed to be 7 February 2011 to 21 March 2011.  All evidence base information, consultation results, Habitats Regulations work and the Sustainable Appraisal would be made available for comment.  A Statutory Notice would be published in the local press and details would be available on-line.


The publication was not for widespread consultation purposes.  It would provide an opportunity for those who had participated in the process to comment on the soundness of the document.  If no fundamental issues were raised with regard to soundness, the document would be submitted to the Government Inspector.  However, if fundamental issues were raised, the document would come back to Council.


The potential timetable following publication was to submit the document in April, hold the Examination in Public in July, receive the Inspector’s report by November and adopt the document by the end of December 2011.


All the changes to the Proposals Map and Settlement Boundaries, as recommended by the LDF Task & Finish Group had been included in the final document.


Members were then invited to put their questions.


Mr Askew sought clarification of exactly which Parishes were covered by the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan (ASHAAP) (and therefore not covered by the Site Specifics document).


It was explained that Besthorpe, Snetterton and Quidenham (including Eccles, Hargham and Wilby) were covered by the ASHAAP.  Other Parishes had been consulted on the Action Plan, but were not included.  It was specifically clarified that East Harling was covered by the Site Specifics document and not the ASHAAP.


Appendix A to the Council report would form part of the Consultation Statement which would be submitted with the document and the final recommendations were in the sixth column of that appendix.


Mrs Matthews referred to paragraph 3.4.16 (on page 8 of the agenda).  She objected to the words in the final sentence “The absence of any significant local or technical objection…” and wished it to be noted that historically the Town Council had strongly objected to the approval for 400 houses on a site to the south of Swaffham.  The town was linear in form and served by one spine road which gave access to King’s Lynn, Fakenham and Norwich and was already congested. 


Mr Goreham asked if the points he had made earlier in the Cabinet meeting would be taken on board.  For the benefit of those Members who had not been present at the earlier meeting he was asked to reiterate those points.  As they referred specifically to Greenfields Road, the Chairman declared a personal and prejudicial interest and left the room.


(Mr Wilkin, Vice-Chairman in the Chair)


Mr Goreham explained that he and Mr Fanthorpe generally agreed with the future proposals for residential development in Dereham except for that at Greenfields Road.  There had been a lot of public concern from residents that if the estate roads were interconnected it would create a rat-run.  The Planning Officers had acknowledged these concerns but did not think that a connection would be detrimental.  That was not the opinion of local people and Mr Goreham asked that it be noted that they had raised their concerns.


The Development Services Manager confirmed that Planning Officers were aware of the issue and that when a planning application was submitted it would be looked at very carefully.


The Vice-Chairman noted that a petition regarding this matter had been received by the Council.


(Chairman in the Chair)


Some small amendments to spellings, text errors and omissions, etc were noted and would be updated before publication.  Members were concerned that some comments in the document had been submitted by e-mail and did not have full name and address details supplied. 


The Senior Planning Policy Officer explained that as the Inspector might wish to invite those people to speak at the Examination in Public, the details would be sought at a later stage.


There were no further comments were made.




(1)               agree to the publication of the Site Specific Policies and Proposals document, including  the Cabinet Recommendations and amendments necessary for Appropriate Assessment, for a period of at least 6 weeks;


(2)               agree to the submission of the Site Specifics Policies and Proposals document to the Secretary of State for an Examination in Public by a Government appointed Inspector whose report would be binding on the authority, unless comments received during the 6 weeks of pre-Submission publication indicated that the document was unsound and should be withdrawn;


(3)               where Minor amendments were needed following publication, agree that these be delegated to the Executive Member in consultation with the Leader.


The Chairman thanked the Officers for their presentation.

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