Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Heritage Developments




A W Scales




Ben Bailey Homes Ltd




Simco Homes




Mr & Mrs S Sayer




Mr Colin Hales

Great Ellingham



Mr John Shewring





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)    Item 1: HARLING: Land off Kenninghall Road: Erection of 37 dwellings, access, services, external works (Phase 2): Applicant: Heritage Developments: Reference: 3PL/2014/0620/F


Permission was sought to extend a recently completed housing scheme with a second phase of development.  The scheme would comprise the erection of 37 dwellings, public open space and new access roads.  Although outside the defined settlement boundary, the proposed development would adjoin the main built up area of the village, and would be close to other housing and within easy reach of village amenities.  The proposal would not therefore result in an isolated development in the countryside, and would be consistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) principle that rural housing should be located where it would maintain or enhance the vitality of rural communities. A viability appraisal had been submitted in support of the application that indicated that the provision of any affordable housing would render the development unviable.  This appraisal had been reviewed by the District Valuer, who had suggested that a policy compliant scheme with 40% affordable housing would not be viable and a lower level of contribution of 19% could be provided; however, following further discussions with the applicant, a revised proposal for 5 affordable dwellings had been made equating to 14% contribution which the District Valuer had supported.   The scheme allowed for a very spacious development with 11 dwellings per hectare and the extent of visual intrusion was limited as it was well screened. 


Mr Bartrum, the applicant was in attendance, and pointed out that subject to a successful outcome, the development of phase 2 would commence as soon as possible.  He also pointed out that 60% of the dwellings in phase 1 had been occupied by local people.  The application had received a great deal of interest and support from local residents and businesses.


Councillor Jolly (Ward Representative) was in attendance representing the Parish Council who had raised a number of objections to the proposal.  She advised that when East Harling had been designated as a Local Service Centre, the NPPF at that time had stated that a further 50 dwellings could be accommodated.  Since then, the amount of additional housing in the village had reached 122 and with this application, if approved, a further 37 would be added which was felt to be a huge growth for the village and the services such as the school and the Doctors surgery were already oversubscribed. 


An email was read aloud from Councillor Chapman-Allen (also a Ward Representative) and had raised the same issues as Councillor Jolly in relation to the services being at full capacity.  She had also mentioned the fact that Garboldisham Village school, located 5 miles away from East Harling had already taken on children from other villages and was also full to capacity and felt that this application needed careful consideration in so far as the infrastructure was concerned as both the Doctors surgery and the school would not be capable of absorbing the parents and the children from this development.


Councillor Carter agreed with the aforementioned comments but reminded the Committee that such matters were the responsibility of Norfolk County Council and NHS England and it was up to them to forward plan so that these issues could be addressed.


Councillor Claussen asked about the Barn Owl situation and about the overhead cables running across the site.  The Principal Planning Officer advised that the applicant had carried out an Ecological Study and this report suggested that there was not an issue.  In response to the latter concern, the applicant advised that the overhead cables would be removed and relocated underground.


The Vice-Chairman referred to Phase 1 of the development and asked if a play area had been installed.  Members were informed that there were two open spaces and owners had been consulted on whether they wanted play equipment installed or not.


Approved, as recommended, subject to conditions as listed in the report and, subject to the completion of a S106 Agreement relating to affordable housing, open space and contributions to local infrastructure.


b)    Item 2: Dereham: Former Cemex Site, 10 Yaxham Road: Proposed Discount Food Store & Car Parking: Applicant: A W Scales: Reference: 3PL/2014/0934/F


This application sought the erection of a new foodstore, associated car parking and landscaping.  The foodstore would be operated by Aldi and the access to it would be via two recently constructed new accesses onto Yaxham Road.  This proposed new foodstore would occupy the part of the site previously earmarked for a hotel, and would adjoin the proposed fast food restaurant and pub/restaurant.  The NPPF identified town centres as the preferred location for retail uses and indicated that proposals for new development should adopt a sequential approach to site selection and consider potential effects on existing town centres.  Where a proposed retail scheme would not satisfy the sequential test or would be likely to have a significant adverse impact on town centre viability and vitality, the NPPF indicated that permission should be refused.  To demonstrate compliance with this test, the applicant had undertaken a comprehensive review of potential sites in the town centre, the former Inland Revenue building, land off George’s Road and the TA Centre in Norwich Road and as these sites were significantly constrained by their irregular shape, their limited accessibility, visibility, multiple ownership, and some being in active use, it was considered that the requirements of the sequential test had been satisfied.  Aldi’s trading model would be based on the sale of a limited range of goods (compared to the big four supermarkets) and given its nature and location, the proposed store would be likely to have the greatest trading impact on the nearby Lidl and Tesco stores.  As both of these stores were out of the town centre, they were not afforded protection under planning policy.  The proposal would also have a very limited impact on comparison spending given the limited floorspace proposed for this purpose.  As far as access was concerned, the issues that had been raised were in relation to the traffic congestion this store could generate in the immediate vicinity.  However, the applicant’s Transport Consultants had undertaken further traffic surveys and modelling work, and two further reports had been submitted as addendums to the original Transport Assessment to broaden its scope.  The revised Assessment had taken into account the proposed housing development off Yaxham Road by Hopkins Homes and the submitted reports had found that the proposed foodstore would only have a very limited impact on existing traffic congestion when compared to the permitted use of the site, the hotel.  This was, in part, due to the fact that a significant number of the anticipated vehicle movements would be from traffic that would already be passing the site (20%) or would be diverted from Tesco/Lidl (60%) and so would already be using this part of the local road network.  New trips, including trips diverted from other parts of the town, would account for around 20% of the total traffic movements which in conclusion would add just one vehicle movement at peak times.  Norfolk County Council (NCC) had originally had an issue with the ‘pinch points’ and had objected to the proposal; however, the applicant had suggested some changes to the white lining on this approach and in the light of this, NCC had asked for these changes to be included as a condition in the planning permission and had withdrawn their objections.  As far as health & safety issues were concerned, it was not 100% clear if there was a gas pipeline running across the proposed site and therefore, subject to approval, this would need further investigation.


The applicants were in attendance to answer any questions together with a representative from Norfolk County Council Highways Department.


Councillor Duigan (Ward Representative) stated that Dereham Town Council was not particularly concerned about this development as the original permissions had been for a hotel; however, the main concerns discussed at the meeting was the affect the other possible developments along the Yaxham Road would have on the traffic.  The Highways Representative explained that she had attended a number of the Town Council meetings and the main concern was that the Hopkins Homes application had not been included in the Aldi proposal but when and if the Hopkins site came forward a further Highways Assessment would have to be submitted.


Councillor Claussen reminded the Committee that the previous application for the hotel had been based on a traffic study dated 2007 which was so long ago it was not worth the paper it was printed on.  There was too much traffic and there was no room for re-lining, and he did not believe that this proposal would generate just one additional vehicle movement at peak times.  He knew for a fact that at peak times, traffic could, on occasion, be queued back to the A47.  He felt that this development was in the wrong place and he also felt that the Highway’s Authority was not talking sense.


The Chairman agreed with the above concerns but his main concern was the log jam that this proposal would have on the traffic when trying to vacate the site particularly when the McDonald’s Restaurant was in place. 


The Principal Planning Officer assured Members that this application had not relied on data from 2007, the information had been based on the Transport Assessments prepared for this application and was up-to-date based on current information.  The Highways Representative confirmed that this application had been based on 2014 data.


Councillor Claussen asked if there was anything being done in relation to the infrastructure. The Director of Planning & Business Manager fully understood Members’ concerns and had noticed that peak hour flows from the uses had not been mentioned which in his opinion was different to peak hour trading.  The Highway’s Representative advised that specific times had been surveyed.  The Town Council had also carried out some work in relation to the traffic signal systems and had found that priority was given to the Tavern Lane arm of the junction and allowed the queues to clear so the traffic did not queue back onto the A47 and by changing the widths of the lanes would solve a lot of these problems.


Councillor Spencer agreed with all the points made and suggested that a further highway survey should be undertaken.


The Chairman stated that Officers had been through all documentation provided and no further surveys were required.  Councillor Duigan raised concerns in relation to the Town Council not seeing sight of the proposed junction change and felt that other consultee’s should have been given the opportunity to do so.  He could not support the application until he had seen the Green’s Road solution.


The Chairman explained how the proposed road layout would work but agreed that this application and the forthcoming Hopkin’s Homes application would add to the problems at these junctions but the Highway Authority was already aware of the problems and all Members could do was voice the public’s concerns.


The Director of Planning & Business Manager understood Members’ concerns and felt that it would have been reasonable for the Committee to have received more detailed information on the implications that this proposal would have on the traffic network.  He suggested that the application be deferred.


The applicant’s representative assured the Committee that since 2010 there had not been any traffic growth in this area.  He had worked very closely with Norfolk County Council on this matter and the options presented to realign the north/south bound traffic would not solve all the issues but it would help inform lane discipline.  The report concentrated on Saturday peak times which were in the order of 20 vehicles an hour period through the traffic signals.  This increase he felt was marginal and would create a slight increase in delays which had been communicated to Norfolk County Council.


The Chairman agreed and reminded the Committee that this application replaced the hotel and office block with what he considered to be a small food store and he felt that Members were clouding this application with problems that already existed.  This would; however, give a very clear message to Norfolk County Council that there would be a problem here if and when the Hopkins Homes application came to fruition.


Councillor Claussen felt that the hotel would not have generated so much traffic and he hoped that somebody, somewhere at some point would do something about these infrastructure problems.


The Chairman said Breckland Council was sending a clear message to the Highways Authority but Members needed to balance a small supermarket against an office block and hotel and he did not believe that the application, for the aforementioned reasons, was worthy of refusal.


Approved, as recommended.


c)     Item 3: Swaffham: Land to the East of Brandon Road: variation of condition 2 of 3PL/2013/0892/F to permit re-plan of eastern part of the site (phases 2 and 3): Applicant: Ben Bailey Homes Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2014/1154/F


Permission was sought to re-plan phases 2 and 3 of an approved housing development at Swaffham as a minor material amendment to the original permission. The proposed re-plan would result in a reduction in the number of terraced houses and the omission of previously proposed flats in favour of more spacious family housing.  The general layout of roads and opens spaces would essentially remain unchanged.  The District Valuer had reappraised the scheme and although it was proposed to maintain the level of affordable housing at 20%, in accordance with the terms of the current S106 Agreement, a minor change had been proposed to the tenure of the affordable dwellings from shared ownership to shared equity. The Council’s Housing Enabling Officer had been content with this change.


Mr Welchman (Agent) stated the change to the mix of housing would provide more garden and parking space and as the applicant had responded to the issues raised he hoped the Committee would endorse the recommendation.


Councillor North assumed that this change was due to an upturn in market conditions which she was very pleased to hear.


The Chairman believed that smaller flats only worked in town centres and he endorsed the change to this proposal for a more family orientated development.


Approved, as recommended but deferred to address the variation of the legal agreement.


d)    Item 4: Ickburgh: The Old Rectory, Ashburton Road: Erection of 8 detached dwellings: Applicant: Simco Homes: Reference: 3PL/2015/0001/F


This site already benefited from permission for 4 large detached dwellings and a S106 Agreement restricting further development to the paddock at the rear of the site had already been put in place.  This proposal represented a 100% increase in the number of dwellings proposed from the previously approved scheme; however, the size and nature of the site could still successfully accommodate 8 dwellings without harming the character and appearance of the rural area.  Access to the site was as per the previous approved scheme, which included localised road widening in the form of two passing places on the Ashburton Road; however, given the doubling in the number of dwellings, Norfolk County Council had requested that an additional passing place beyond the church be installed.  The proposed dwellings would be of a unique design (Huf Haus) developed in Germany and the construction of the dwellings would be to a high standard of thermo-insulation and would also provide flexible layouts in order to meet the ‘lifetime homes’ standards.  The scheme would deliver an innovative, high quality sustainable development of a brownfield site in accordance with national and local policy and was recommended for approval.


Ten letters of support for this scheme had been received. Ickburgh Parish meeting also fully supported the proposal.


Mrs Whettingsteel (Agent) felt that this was an ideal opportunity for Breckland Council to deliver such innovative dwellings.  The Huf Haus model already had prestige across the country and had featured on Grand Designs.  These dwellings had a superb level of energy efficiency creating low running costs for the home owners.


Councillor Steward (Ward Rep) felt that this was a really exciting opportunity for Breckland Council and an ideal site to create something different.   The road improvements were crucial for this development and she would be working very closely with Officers on this matter.  She endorsed the recommendation.


Although he liked the design of the dwellings, Councillor Claussen was not so keen on the density; he also had concerns about the ‘hammerhead’ depicted on the plan shown and he asked about the S106 agreement in relation to the paddock.   The Principal Planning Officer advised that the hammerhead was just a turning point and the S106 Agreement prevented the paddock land being developed.  The Agent explained that the paddock was not suitable for development as it used to be a former pit.  


In response to a question about the energy efficiency number rating, Members were informed that the dwellings would be rated as a Code 5. 


The Vice-Chairman commended the application but had concerns about the western side of the site which once this particular dwelling was built could create a blind spot for the people leaving the site.  The Agent explained that this particular plot would have an access with an in and out lane. 


Approved, as recommended; subject to a 2 year time limit.


The Chairman requested a site visit nearer completion.


e)    Item 5: Lynford: No. 1 Wooden Bungalow, West Tofts: Demolish workshop/storage building and erection of bungalow: Applicant Mr & Mrs S Sayer: Reference: 3PL/2015/0097/O


This application sought outline planning permission including access for the construction of a detached bungalow following the demolition of an existing workshop/storage building on land to the south of 1 Wooden Bungalow.


No Parish Council comments had been received.


The applicants had put forward personal circumstances in justification for the proposal; however, it was a general principle of the planning system that such considerations would only be relevant in exceptional circumstances and would rarely outweigh more general planning considerations.  It had been considered that the care needs of the applicant could be achieved by way of an annex to the existing dwelling or an extension and therefore the application was recommended for refusal.


Mrs Mouncer (Applicant) said that she would like to build a single storey building to replace the run down barn.  If approved, she would be able to support her parents and carry on with the family business and her children would be able to remain at the local school.


Councillor Steward (Ward Rep) spoke in support of the application.  This one dwelling would create sensible and sustainable growth for the area as well as providing an opportunity for someone who had worked very hard in the village to help her parents.


Councillor Spencer also supported the application as the building would be on the same footprint.


There was some discussion about whether this site should be classed as a brownfield site by default as the business had been in operation for more than 10 years.  Members were informed that there was no history available.


Councillor Bowes lived in the neighbouring village and supported the application.  She was perturbed by the recommendation of refusal as this application, if approved, would enable an elderly couple to remain in the village supported by their daughter.


Approved, contrary to the recommendation, but deferred to Officers to enable further discussion with the agent and Environmental Health Officers on how any noise issues could be addressed, and either conditioned or dealt with through an appropriate S106 Agreement.


f)      Item 6: Great Ellingham: Shiloh, Deopham Road: proposal for outline planning permission for a two storey detached dwelling inc. garage: Applicant: Mr Colin Hales: Reference: 3PL/2015/0104/O


This application sought outline planning permission to construct a two-storey detached dwelling and garage on 0.06 hectares of land adjacent to a property known as Shiloh on the corner of Attleborough Road and Deopham Road.


Councillor Duigan felt that time limits for outline planning permissions should be reduced to one year.


Approved, as recommended.


g)    Item 7: Guist: Packe House, Watery Lane: Change of use from holiday home back to residential: Applicant: Mr John Shewring: Reference: 3PL/2015/0120/CU


This application sought permission to change the use of Packe House from a holiday let to a residential dwelling.  The adjoining dwelling, Keeler Cottage, had already had such permission granted.


Councillor Carter asked if the time limits for full permissions could be reduced to two years.


Approved, as recommended subject to a two year time limit.


Notes to the Schedule


Item No.



Cllr Jolly – Ward Representative

Mr Bartrum - Agent


Liz Poole – NCC Highways

Mr Doyle – for Applicant

Mr Seales – Applicant

Mr Mantle – for Applicant


Mr Welchman - Agent


Cllr Steward – Ward Representative

Mrs Whettingsteel - Agent


Cllr Steward – Ward Representative

Mrs Mouncer – Applicant

Mr Moulton - Applicant

Written Representations taken into Account








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