Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Serruys Property Company Ltd




Hopkins Homes Limited




Miss S Kelly




Miss S Kelly




Miss S Kelly




Miss S Kelly








Mr Alexander Bone




Breckland Council





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: WATTON: Plaswood, Griston Road: Modification of Section 106 agreement on 3PL/2012/0503/O in terms of contributions: Applicant: Serruys Property Company Ltd: Reference: 3OB/2014/0005/OB


This application requested the removal of financial contributions from the legal agreement attached to the earlier permission.  Following on from the approval of outline planning permission in January 2014 the viability of the site had been addressed and subsequently independently assessed by the District Valuer who confirmed, on the basis of the submitted material, that it could not support the obligations.  Removal of the obligations could allow redevelopment of the dilapidated site.  The legal agreement would need to be amended to include a clawback clause if the application was approved.


Mr Futter (Agent) explained it was a difficult site which was badly contaminated.  The financial appraisal had been done without adding any interest costs. 


Cllr Wassell (Ward Representative) raised concerns about developers reneging on their commitment to the community.  The viability issues could have been caused by a number of reasons which had not been made clear to the Committee.  He asked Members to consider very carefully the precedent that would be set by agreeing to the recommendation.


Members raised concerns about the loss of affordable housing; the fact that the developer had underestimated the costs and that the District Valuer considered that even without the obligations the site was not viable.


Mr Futter advised that it was intended to increase the floorspace of the site (probably by adding an additional storey to the flats) thereby making it viable. 


Members were advised that the original Outline consent did not define the amount of floorspace; that would be dealt with in the Reserved Matters application.  They were also told that Government Guidance said that affordability was a legitimate issue for the Committee to consider.


The Planning Manager advised that the application was supported with details of viability and marketing.  The report confirmed that the site had been marketed in February 2014 and there had been little interest and no bids.  The site had been purchased and marketed at a price of £372,567 whereas the District Valuer considered a benchmark land value of £300,000 to be reasonable.  Nevertheless, even at that price the District Valuer considered the scheme to be unviable.  In terms of contaminated land/abnormal build costs there was some uncertainty with the accuracy or otherwise of the submitted figures.


The recommendation for refusal was not supported.


The site has been marketed for sale on the open market for a period of 3 months before the application was submitted. That period of time was not considered sufficient to fully assess the true market value of the site, with or without the agreed planning obligations. Furthermore, having independently assessed the financial appraisal submitted with the application, it was apparent that the abnormal costs attributed to the redevelopment of the site were too high, which might have a bearing on the viability of the site.


Refused, on grounds that the Council was not prepared to waive the provision of affordable housing and important financial contributions towards education and recreational space without sufficient justification, based on sound evidence.


(b)       Item 2: DEREHAM: Land East of Yaxham Road, South of Dumpling Green: Erection of 255 dwellings with associated open space: Applicant: Hopkins Homes Limited: Reference: 3PL/2010/1361/F


This full application gave a clear indication of the applicant’s intentions and the viability of the scheme.  It was proposed that an additional condition regarding fire hydrants should be added to any approval.  Representatives from NCC Highways were present to answer questions.


Councillor Gilmour (NCC Councillor) was concerned about the lack of school places for new residents and the pressure the development would put on medical and dental services.  He queried the validity of the traffic survey which was based on historic information.  In conjunction with other developments in the area the proposal would cause an adverse effect on the quality of life of existing residents.


Mr Needham (Town Council) pointed out that the Westfield Road bridge link to the schools did not meet disabled standards or safety requirements.


Mr Manning (Objector) spoke on behalf of residents of Dumpling Green which was an unadopted private road with Right of Way for pedestrians only.  They objected to its proposed use by cyclists and were concerned about loss of privacy, waste water and the site had not been preferred in the LDF process.


Mr Anema (Objector) referred to the County Wildlife Site, Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation and the protected species in the area which could all be affected by pollution.


Ms Louise Brown (South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group) said that although it was a small scheme it had the potential to create 1000 patients.  The health service was under strain and there was a recruitment crisis.  The impact on the health service would have an effect on everyone.


Mr Smith (Agent) said it was a long standing application. Drainage had been an issue but a new rising main meant the site could be drained in principle.  NCC was comfortable with the proposal.  The ecology report was being updated.  It was a spacious, low-density and well laid out development.


Councillor T Monument (Ward Representative) agreed that it would be a pleasant estate but pointed out the following issues: the cycle way on Dumpling Green was only partly lit and therefore not safe; it was not the right place and development would encourage more car use.  The access by Westfield Lane was narrow and dangerous.  If the application was to be approved he suggested a financial contribution should be required to improve the bridge to meet safety requirements.


The NCC representatives were asked to comment on the out of date information used and the proposed Travel Plan.  Mr Higgins (NCC Highways) advised that although the transport assessment was old it was their view that traffic levels had receded due to the recession.  The Travel Plan would encourage residents not to use their cars. Residents would be encouraged to use the bus service which would be improved using money from the financial contributions.  It was hoped that the development would provide enough passengers to ensure that improvements to the bus service would be self-sustaining.


Members raised concerns about the potential for further development, the strain on the local medical services and the lack of current information about traffic. 


The off-site highways works were clarified.  A roundabout would be provided and the T junction and Westfield Lane bridge would be improved. Two Toucan crossings and a footway/cycleway along the Yaxham Road would also be provided.


Councillor Claussen proposed that the application be deferred for more information on what the site could deliver in terms of affordable housing, taking into account the likely costs of the highway improvements required.  Other Members agreed and felt that the effects on the health service and on the sensitive landscape area should also be explored.


Deferred, contrary to the recommendation, for further information including an updated Transport Assessment and re-examination of the safety issues regarding the off site substandard railway bridge crossing.


(c)        Item 3: THOMPSON: 1 Red Brick Farm Barns, Marlpit Road: Installation of metal flue on rear elevation and laying of concrete pavers to parking area (retrospective): Applicant: Miss S Kelly: Reference: 3PL/2014/0594/LB


This listed building consent application was considered concurrently with the planning application below at (d).  All Members had received direct representation.


This application had been discussed at the Committee meeting in April.  At that time the gates had been included in the same application.


Approved, as recommended.


(d)       Item 4: THOMPSON: 1 Red Brick Farm Barns, Marlpit Road: Installation of metal flue on rear elevation and laying of concrete pavers to parking area (retrospective): Applicant: Miss S Kelly: Reference: 3PL/2014/0595/F


Approved, as recommended.  (See Minute No 87/14c above).


(e)       Item 5: THOMPSON: 1 Red Brick Farm Barns, Marlpit Road: Remove gates and side panels and install timber post and rail fence and access gate: Applicant: Miss S Kelly: Reference: 3PL/2014/0609/F


This planning application was considered concurrently with the listed building consent application below at (f).  All Members had received direct representation.


The gates proposed in the original application which had been heard at the April Committee meeting had not been considered acceptable for reasons of design.  The new proposal was for a more traditional design.


An additional statement from the neighbour was read out to Members.  He objected to the position of the gates; vehicles stopping in front of his property; and on safety, privacy and health grounds. 


Members agreed that neighbour disputes were a serious matter.  They discussed ways to try to mitigate the effects but as the gates were for security they agreed it would be unacceptable to condition that they should remain open.  It was also noted that the neighbour had permission for gates of his own.


Approved, as recommended.


(f)         Item 6: THOMPSON: 1 Red Brick Farm Barns, Marlpit Road: Remove gates and side panels and install timber post and rail fence and access gate: Applicant: Miss S Kelly: Reference: 3PL/2014/0610/LB


Approved, as recommended.  (See Minute No 87/14e above.)


(i)                 Item 7: SHROPHAM: TNP Ltd, Hargham Road: Proposed Lairage and B8 storage building. Extend existing factory. Remodelling of car park and landscaping: Applicant: TNP Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2014/0596/F


This application proposed an extension to the factory to allow activities that were currently taking place outside to take place under cover.  It provided an opportunity to restrict some activities.


Mr Napier (Parish Council) said the Parish Council and the Ward Representative supported the proposal subject to robust conditions.  He asked for Saturday to be included in the times that fork lift truck operations were restricted.


Mr Brown (Objector) lived in the cottage in front of the site.  He would be affected by noise and smells.  The build had the potential to reduce noise and pollution.  If noise could be controlled residents would have no issues with the development.  He suggested that the Task Force Group should be reinstated to ensure good communication between residents and the factory.


Mrs Shelley (Agent) pointed out that no new activities were proposed on site.  The proposal would make the situation better as the building would have automatic doors which would close behind vehicles, reducing noise.  They had recently been made aware of a problem with reversing bleepers and ‘white noise’ would be used at night in future. 


Members discussed extending restrictions on forklift trucks to weekends and bank holidays.  Details of parking, waste disposal and timed arrivals to avoid queuing were clarified.


Approved, as recommended, subject to additional conditions regarding hours of operation, no external storage of waste and maintenance of bunding.


(i)                 Item 8: CARBROOKE: Bridge Street: New house and garage (resubmission): Applicant: Mr Alexander Bone: Reference: 3PL/2014/0687/F


This was the re-submission of an application previously refused under delegated powers.  The key issue was the Highways objection due to restricted visibility at the access. 


Ms Emmerson (Objector) said the proposal would have a negative impact and cause potential harm.  The sewage system could not cope with additional development and the site provided natural drainage.  The access was opposite a T junction on a bend with a primary school nearby.


Mr Evans (Agent) explained that the dwelling had been repositioned on site and reduced in size.  The Environment Agency did not consider the site was a high risk for flooding.  There was a presumption in favour of approval in light of the Council’s lack of a five year housing land supply.


It was noted that no tree statement had been submitted with the application and the Agent advised that that had been due to an oversight and the statement had now been sent to the Council.  There was one protected tree on the boundary.  The dwelling had been moved further from the stream and closer to the tree due to the flood risk.


A Member suggested that the access would be safer if it was moved away from the junction. 


Councillor Armes proposed that the application should be deferred as Members did not have all the information.  The Chairman agreed.


Deferred, contrary to the recommendation, for further information.


(i)                 Item 9: DEREHAM: St Withburga Lane: Smoking shelter: Applicant: Breckland Council: Reference: 3PL/2014/0728/F


This was an application by the Council to erect a smoking shelter at The Guildhall.  The shelter would be erected on a raised bed to protect the roots of the adjacent tree.  It was a legal requirement to provide a designated smoking area at a workplace.


Approved, as recommended.


Notes to the Schedule

Item No



Cllr Wassell – Ward Representative

Mr Futter – Agent


Cllr Monument – Ward Representative

Cllr Gilmour – NCC Councillor

Mr Needham – Town Council

Mr Manning – Objector

Mr Anema – Objector

Mr Smith - Agent


Mr Napier – Parish Council

Mr Brown – Objector

Mrs Shelley - Agent


Ms Emmerson – Objector

Mr Evans – Agent

Mr Alexander - Applicant


Written Representations taken into account

Reference No

No of Representations
















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