Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:

 

Item No

Applicant

Parish

Page No

1

Silver Drift Ltd

Swaffham

43-48

2

Millngate Swaffham Ltd

Swaffham

49-54

3

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

55

4

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

56

5

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

57

6

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

58

7

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

59

8

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

60

9

Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd

Stow Bedon/Breckles

61

 

Report for all 7 Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd applications list above

 

62-70

10

Forest Holidays LLP

Harling

71-78

11

Mr & Mrs J Hewitt

Blo’Norton

79-83

12

Taylor Wimpet East Anglia

Carbrooke

84-87

13

S & A Jones Developments

Watton

88-90

14

Mr Robert Childerhouse

Weeting

91-94

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:

 

(a)       Item 1: SWAFFHAM: Great Friars Farm, Silver Drift: Anaerobic digestion renewable energy facility and associated landscaping works: Applicant: Silver Drift Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2013/0623/F

 

Part of the access track to this development was a public right of way.  The application would make a positive contribution to renewable energy.

 

Mr Presslee (Agent) said the farm based facility was adjacent to large agricultural buildings and would provide clean, renewable energy from crops only (not from food waste).  It would produce enough energy for 6,000 homes and reduce CO² whilst providing fertilizer as a by-product.  It would support the viability of the farm.  Councillor Matthews, Ward Representative supported the application.  The development was not expected to increase problems on the access track.

 

Councillor North suggested that additional signage should be erected during construction urging due care for public safety.  She also requested that native species were used for screening.

 

Approved, as recommended.

 

(b)       Item 2: SWAFFHAM: Castle Acre Road: Vary conditions 2 & 7 on 3PL/2012/0269/F (revise site plan, floor plan, elevations, roof plan & landscape specs): Applicant: Millngate Swaffham Ltd & Tesco Stores Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2013/0712/F

 

This application for minor material amendments to a large Tesco store included changes to various aspects of the building including the repositioning of internal facilities.  The main issues were residential amenity, design and appearance, none of which were considered to be harmed by the amendments.

 

Approved, as recommended.

 

(c)        Item 3: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Retain 2 small poultry arcs in movable locations within area on Drawing TNP001/0250 5-3 & feed silo (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0730/F

 

Items 3 to 9 were discussed concurrently.  All Members had received direct representation.  For transparency Councillor Bowes declared that she knew one of the Directors of Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd.

 

Recent amendments to the proposals had been included in the supplementary report on pages 139-141 of the agenda.  The three larger polytunnel sites were now only to house turkeys for the winter months.

 

The main issue was that the site was adjacent to Peddars Way and accessed off it.  There was substantial damage to the track’s surface and verges caused by the large vehicles using it.  There was also conflict between the vehicles and the pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders using the track.

 

The applicants had been advised that planning permission was required.  As a result of their failure to submit an application an Enforcement Notice had been issued.  An appeal against the notice had been dismissed and the Notice had come into effect on 24 August, but no action had been taken as the planning permission had then been submitted.

 

Councillor Cowen (Ward Representative) was unable to attend but had sent in a letter objecting to the retrospective applications and asking that if the recommendation was endorsed, all development should be removed including the materials used for roadways.

 

The local MP, Elizabeth Truss had also written asking Members to consider the job opportunities and value to the local economy of the development, as long as the impact on existing businesses and the environment was taken into account.

 

At the request of the Chairman it was noted that another business, known as Watering Farm, also used the Peddars Way track.  The farm owner had constructed some unauthorised buildings for pigs and the Enforcement Team had visited.  A planning application had been submitted and an Environmental Impact Assessment was being prepared to support the application.  It was pointed out that the farm was an existing use, whereas the development under consideration was on virgin land.

 

As all seven applications were being considered at once, the time for public speakers was extended to six minutes.

 

Mr Morpeth (Wretham Parish Council) spoke on behalf of Wretham, Stow Bedon & Breckles and Hockham Parish Councils, all of which had raised strong objections to the proposal.

 

He said the development should never have taken place in a ‘bio-diversity hot-spot’.  It did not consider the environment or wildlife and was in contravention of EU Regulation 1122/2009 which prohibited the ploughing of established pastureland.  The development had replaced pasture with swathes of concrete and convoys of huge wagons had broken down the road surface, terrified other users of Peddars Way and disturbed residents.  The use had damaged the 2000 year old Roman road and caused a decline in local tourism.  The excrement from the chickens foraging in the woodland was causing phosphates to leech into the watertable.  He was horrified that Breckland Council had not taken action against the development sooner and urged Members to stop it now.

 

Mrs Shelley (Agent) advised that there were a lot of inaccuracies in what Members had been told.  Not all the lorry movements were to the TNP site.  Many were to Watering Farm.  With regard to the appeal against the Enforcement Notice she explained that planning permission had not previously been required for the arcs which were widely used.  In response to concerns about the number of vehicle movements, the number of chickens on site had been reduced to a maximum of 15,000.  That would reduce the number of deliveries required.  The polytunnels would only be utilised for part of the year.  80% of vehicle movements were staff visits to the site by car, only about five movements per day were by HGV.  She was concerned that TNP were being blamed for many large tractor and HGV movements to Watering Farm.  Pigs consumed significantly more feed than chickens or turkeys.  Most of the damage to Peddars Way was by Watering Farm traffic.  The grassland was not a protected area and an eco-assessment had been carried out and identified no damage.

 

Ms Ecclestone (for Applicant) said that TNP had been an independent free-range poultry supplier for 25 years.  They had planted over 6,000 trees and worked in partnership with the Woodland Trust.  They had set the benchmark for free range chickens and they had won the 2012 award as Poultry farmers of the year.  Closure of the site could be catastrophic to their ability to supply their customers.

 

Councillor Bambridge asked whether the site could be accessed without using Peddars Way or that vehicular and pedestrian traffic could be separated and was advised that neither was possible.

 

It was ascertained that four or five staff worked on the site daily with visits from the Welfare Officer as well.

 

In response to a question, Mr Morpeth advised that he had received information from local suppliers of food and accommodation that there had been a reduction in the number of people using the area for tourism.


Councillor Lamb said there was a conflict between fact and evidence.  He could not decide if it was TNP or Watering Farm causing the damage to Peddars Way.  The Solicitor advised that it was reasonable for Members to assume that the TNP development was causing part of the problem.

 

Councillor Bowes was surprised that planning permission was required.  She also noted that the structures were moveable and the site could be returned to its previous use easily.

 

The Principal Planning Officer advised that recent case law had identified the use as development which was usually permitted but required prior approval – which could not be given retrospectively.

 

Councillor Chapman-Allen said that she usually supported free range enterprises but given the disregard and damage to the trail in this instance she found it unacceptable.

 

Councillor Duigan noted that the land might be used for other agricultural uses, not needing planning permission that generated large vehicle movements.

 

Councillor North said that the Council was a guardian of Peddars Way in Breckland and must look after it.

 

Councillor Robinson noted that the applicant had stated that it would be catastrophic to the business if the site was lost.  He asked if there was capacity on other TNP sites.

 

Ms Ecclestone advised that quality sites were needed.  TNP operated in excess of 40 sites but not all were owned by them.

 

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement action authorised.

 

(d)       Item 4: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Retain 2 small poultry arcs in movable locations within area on Drawing TNP001/0250 4-3 & feed silo (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0731/F

 

Items 3 - 9 were considered concurrently.  See Minute No 107/13(c)

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement action authorised.

 

(e)       Item 5: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Retain small poultry arcs in movable locations see Drg TNP001/0250 7-3 & feed silo (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0732/F

 

Items 3 - 9 were considered concurrently.  See Minute No 107/13(c)

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement action authorised.

 

(f)         Item 6: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Spanish-type polytunnel (No 1 on TNP001/0250 1) feed silo, water tank & access road/turning area (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0733/F

 

Items 3 - 9 were considered concurrently.  See Minute No 107/13(c)

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement action authorised.

 

(g)       Item 7: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Retain small poultry arcs in movable locations within area on Drg TNP001/0250 6-3 & feed silo (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0734/F

 

Items 3 - 9 were considered concurrently.  See Minute No 107/13(c)

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement Action Authorised.

 

(h)        Item 8: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Retain Spanish-type polytunnel (2 on TNP001/0250 2-1) feed silo, water tank & access & turning area (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0736/F

 

Items 3 - 9 were considered concurrently.  See Minute No 107/13(c)

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement action authorised.

 

(i)         Item 9: STOW BEDON/BRECKLES: Breckles Farm Site, Land near Breckles Heath: Retain Spanish-type polytunnel (31 on TNP001/0250 3-3) feed silos, water tank & access & turning area (retrospective): Applicant: Traditional Norfolk Poultry Ltd: Application: 3PL/2013/0737/F

 

Items 3 - 9 were considered concurrently.  See Minute No 107/13(c)

Refused as recommended and further Enforcement action authorised.

 

(j)         Item 10: HARLING: Thorpe Woodlands, West Harling Road: Replacement of camping & caravanning with 70 No timber cabins & associated buildings to be used for holiday accommodation: Applicant: Forest Holidays LLP: Reference: 3PL/2013/0735/F

 

All Members had received direct representation.

 

This application proposed the replacement of the existing camping and caravan use with timber cabins and ancillary buildings for holiday accommodation.  48 cabins would be amongst the trees and 22 in the open area.  The aim was to create an all year round high quality tourist experience.  The application was largely in accordance with policy.  Revised plans addressed tree concerns.

 

Mrs Martin (Objector) said that the numbers provided gave a false picture of the current site and the proposal would cause significantly more users.  The additional people and dogs would increase noise and disturbance.  66 trees would also be lost and habitat destroyed. 

 

Mr Burn (Agent) said the proposal had been informed by a scientific study to ensure no harm to the environment.  Forest Holidays worked in partnership with the Forestry Commission.  Of their existing eight sites, half were on National Parks.  The emphasis was on quality with substantial economic benefits and about 80 jobs would be created.

 

Mr Ashley (for Applicant) was the Forestry Commission’s Land Agent in Breckland and worked closely with Forest Holidays.  He said they would continue to manage the woodland and ensure it was maintained to a high standard.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Spencer it was confirmed that each cabin had two parking spaces and the cabins would be accessed by existing loop roads within the site.

 

The cabins had a full range of facilities with heating provided either by bio-mass or air source. Forest Holidays placed an emphasis on education and had rangers on-site for that purpose.

 

Councillor North asked about the mobile homes in the maintenance area and was advised that they would be lived in permanently by managers, but that use would be tied to the management of the holiday scheme by condition.

 

Councillor Bambridge was concerned about water run-off and was advised that all development was to Forestry Commission specifications.  The parking areas were crushed aggregate which was permeable.

 

Councillor Armes asked about the Fire Chief’s requirements and was advised that fire hydrants would probably be placed at 50m intervals along the access roads.

 

It was also confirmed that units for use by people with disabilities would have ramped access.

 

Approved, as recommended.

 

(k)        Item 11: BLO’NORTON: Evangeline, The Banks: Erection of two single-storey, self-catering, holiday chalets: Applicant: Mr & Mrs J Hewitt: Reference: 3PL/2013/0741/F

 

The only objection to this application was by Highways due to the nature of the single track access road and the restricted on-site parking provision.

 

Mrs Hewitt (Applicant) said the site was on the outskirts of Blo’Norton less than one mile from the nearest B road.  The retreat would attract people who would walk and cycle to explore the area.  There was room to provide additional parking if necessary, and on-site turning.  She had lived there for 20 years and only knew of one road accident in the last 15 years.  Lots of other local attractions were on single track roads.

 

Councillor Nunn (Ward Representative) had called the application in to support it as it fitted local policies of trying to bring sustainable tourism to the area.  The applicant had created the lake 20 years ago.  It looked natural and enhanced the site.  People visited the countryside to be somewhere quiet.  The proposal would support the local public house.

 

Councillor Bambridge suggested some planting to the rear elevations to improve their appearance.

 

Councillor North asked what research had been carried out to determine whether such a facility would be used and the applicant’s architect advised that all information indicated an increasing eco-tourist market.

 

It was confirmed that the facility would be open all year and that there was fencing between the accommodation and the lake.

 

The recommendation for refusal was not supported.

 

Approved, contrary to the recommendation, subject to conditions restricting occupancy to tourism and a revised parking plan, on the grounds that it would encourage tourism and that the Highway objections were not sustainable.

 

(l)         Item 12: CARBROOKE: Beaufort Park, RAF Watton Phase 2C: Re-plan and substitution of revised house types to plots 50 to 68 from 3PL/2009/0118/D (30 dwellings): Applicant: Taylor Wimpey East Anglia: Reference: 3PL/2013/0754/F

 

This application proposed an amendment to reduce the size of approved houses.  That would allow an additional 11 houses on the site and provide a mix of semi-detached and smaller detached, two and three bedroom properties.  It was confirmed that there was already a surplus of affordable housing in the area.

 

The proposal was considered acceptable subject to conditions and a Deed of Variation.  If minded to approve, Members were requested to delegate authority to Officers to refuse the application if the legal agreement was not completed within three months.

 

Mr Chapman (Agent) said the amendment was to respond to market housing demand for two and three bedroom homes.  It would also increase the parking provision.

 

Previously 19 mainly four bedroom homes had been approved.  The new scheme would provide 30 two and three bedroom homes.

 

The Agent confirmed that they were meeting with the Parish Council to try to overcome concerns about pedestrian access.  The previous scheme did not meet current standards for car parking.  The new scheme would provide two spaces for each dwelling.

 

Councillor Carter was pleased about the two bedroom houses which would enable people to get on the property ladder.

 

Deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the Deed of Variation.

 

(m)      Item 13: WATTON: 119 Norwich Road: Minor Material Amendment in respect of road changed from block paving to tarmac finish: Applicant: S & A Jones Developments: Reference: 3PL/2013/0798/F

 

This minor material amendment proposed a change to the road finish only, with block paving being replaced by tarmac which would then allow the road to be adopted by the Highways Authority.

 

Approved, as recommended.

 

(n)        Item 14: WEETING: 3 Angerstein Close: Rear extension, change of internal layout to include velux window roof vent & front porch: Applicant: Mr Robert Childerhouse: Reference: 3PL/2013/0833/F

 

A previous application had been refused in July 2013 and this alternative proposal had been submitted.  The large rear extension was set back from the boundaries and the ridge height matched existing.  It was not considered detrimental to the dwelling or the neighbourhood.

 

Mrs Whettingsteel (Agent) noted that the only part of the extension visible from the road was the porch; the rest was hidden by the dwelling.  Members’ previous comments had been taken on-board to overcome their objections.

 

In response to questions it was confirmed that the extension was single storey and did not have sufficient height to accommodate an additional floor.  The roof lights in the vaulted ceiling were to provide additional light to the large living space which was otherwise shaded by the existing trees.

 

Members sought to protect the trees by condition or by the serving of a Tree Preservation Order if the Tree & Countryside Officer thought it was appropriate.

 

Approved, as recommended, and the Officers be asked to consider whether additional protection for trees was required.

 

Notes to the Schedule

Item No

Speaker

1

Mr Presslee – Agent

Mr Mezzullo - Applicant

3-9

Mr Morpeth – Parish Council

Mrs Shelley – Agent

Ms Ecclestone – Applicant

Mr Worsfold - Highways

10

Mrs Martin – Objector

Mr Burn – Agent

Mr Ashley – for Applicant

11

Mrs Hewitt – Applicant

Cllr Nunn – Ward Representative

Mr Worsfold - Highways

12

Mr Chapman - Agent

14

Mrs Whettingsteel - Agent

Deferred Items

 

8a

Mrs Whettingsteel - Agent

8b

Mr Atterwill – Parish Council

Mr Porter – for Applicant

Mr Evans – Agent

Cllr R Richmond – Ward Representative

Mr Worsfold - Highways

 

Written Representations taken into account

Reference No

No of Representations

3PL/2013/0258/O

6

3PL/2013/0626/F

2

3PL/2013/0627/F

11

3PL/2013/0712/F

1

3PL/2013/0735/F

57

3PL/2013/0730/F

8

3PL/2013/0731/F

2

3PL/2013/0732/F

2

3PL/2013/0733/F

4

3PL/2013/0734/F

2

3PL/2013/0736/F

3

3PL/2013/0737/F

3

3PL/2013/0741/F

5

 

Supporting documents: