Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr A Annison


37 – 45


Flagship Housing Group


46 – 53


Burmeister & Wainscandinavian


54 – 64


Persimmon Homes East Midlands


65 – 77


Persimmon Homes East Midlands


78 – 96


Nature’s Menu


97 – 106


Twells Partnership


107 – 112


Mr James Howard


113 – 116


D & A (2127) Limited


117 - 121



RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


a)    Item 1: ROCKLANDS: Land to the rear of the White Hart Public House, 43 The Street: Four new bungalows with parking: Applicant: Mr A Annison: Reference: 3PL/2015/0518/F


All Members had received direct representation on this item.


This application had received a lot of local interest with about 170 representations received, of which about 70 were for the amended plans.


The details of the amended scheme were explained to Members including the demolition and replacement of part of the existing pub wall and the removal of some hedging to increase the width of the access.  In view of strong concerns from residents Members might want full drainage scheme details if they were minded to approve the application.


It was noted that the White Hart Public House (PH) was a ‘community asset’.  The applicant had indicated that the scheme would fund further improvements to the PH.


On balance, and in view of the Council’s lack of a 5 year housing land supply, the application was recommended for approval but was considered to be finely balanced.


Mr Howie (Parish Council Chairman) represented the Parish Councillors and the majority of parishioners who were unanimously opposed to the proposal.  Four houses would not meet the Council’s housing land requirement but would have a significant impact on the village.  Flooding issues were well documented and there were also grave safety concerns.


Ms McArthur and Mr Neale (Objectors) raised concerns about inappropriate back-land development; the lack of protection to the community asset; the public bridleway being compromised and road safety.


Mr Annison (son of Applicant) had grown up in the village and understood the strength of feeling as it was a special place to live.  The small development of sustainable family homes was a natural way for the village to grow and would provide funds to enhance the PH.


Councillor Cowen (Ward Representative) had been asked by the applicant to promote his case.  He could not have supported the original proposal for seven, but he felt that four houses would have minimal impact on the setting of the PH.  The big issue was flooding and it was key that the drainage system was designed properly.  In summary there was a housing land shortage and the cash injection for the PH would help to keep it alive and thriving.


Councillor Smith (Ward Representative) said Rocklands was an active community that had acquired the village shop and tried to purchase the PH.  The village was in a hollow and flooding would be extremely likely without substantial improvements.  He had received a telephone call from the Norfolk County Councillor Cliff Jordan who had visited the site with a Highways Maintenance Engineer.  The Highways Engineer had said that he would not agree to more than one property on the site.  If approved the loss of parking space on site would lead to more on-road parking and compromise safety.


The Operations & Contract Manager pointed out that it was not a Highway Maintenance Engineer’s remit to comment on planning applications.


Councillor Joel asked how many times the PH car park had been flooded.  He also asked if it was possible to separate the site access from the bridleway.


The Principal Planning Officer advised that the access would be 4.2m wide which was wide enough for two cars to pass.  However, there would need to be consideration shown to pedestrians and horses.  The level of traffic generated by four dwellings was not considered likely to cause problems.  He had no details about flooding of the PH car park.


Councillor Sharpe asked if the ‘community asset’ included the building and the land.  It was confirmed that it did and that part of the site was originally a bowling green.  He thought that the value of the Community Asset would increase astronomically if the planning permission was granted and asked if that would trigger a new six month moratorium period.

The Solicitor advised that that would only apply if the land was to be sold.  If the planning permission was approved the applicant would still have to comply with Community Asset legislation.


Councillor Sharpe asked if the Design & Access statement was still valid as it was submitted with the application for seven dwellings.


The Principal Planning Officer advised that parts of the Design & Access statement were still relevant but the applicant had been advised that seven dwellings could not be supported.


Councillor Chapman-Allen had visited the site and was concerned about the access.  She was glad the hedge was to be removed as that should make the bridleway wide enough for two riders.  She referred to an e-mail from the NCC Rights of Way Officer and his request to be consulted on surfacing details.


Councillor Darby asked if a condition could be applied to prevent further applications.  The Operations & Contract Manager advised that as there was no room for further housing without encroachment into the countryside he thought it unlikely that further development would be approved.


Councillor Claussen was very supportive of the existing linear form of the village and considered the application to be back-land development. 


Councillor Martin was very concerned about flooding and Councillor Duigan agreed and said there was not enough information.  He asked for the Committee to receive a presentation from NCC as Lead Flood Authority to explain which applications they would comment on as they had not responded to the current application due to its small scale.


The Operations & Contract Manager advised that the applicant had submitted some information and further details could be sought if required.  However, he pointed out that the application could not rectify existing problems in the village.  It could only deal with its own run-off.  He would arrange for NCC to give a briefing to Councillors.


Councillor Sharpe had seen pictures of the flooding problems and said they were deplorable.  The Officer had said that the application would have minimal effects on drainage, but he wanted it to have ‘no effect’.


Councillor Smith (Ward Representative) wanted to speak again and the Solicitor was consulted.  He advised that if Councillor Smith was allowed to speak again, all other speakers should have the same opportunity.


Councillor Smith re-emphasised that flooding was an issue and he urged Members to consider the cumulative effect.


Mr Annison (for Applicant) responded by saying that approval would not affect the existing flooding in the village, but putting in a SUDS sytem would slow down the flow of water.


The recommendation of approval was not supported.


Refused, contrary to the recommendation, on the grounds that Members were not convinced that the proposals would negate additional flooding and due to the impact of the development on the form and character of the village.


b)    Item 2: NARBOROUGH: Dennys Walk: Demolition of 2-24 Dennys Walk and erection of 31 affordable and 2 private dwellings: Applicant: Flagship Housing Group: Reference: 3PL/2015/0623/F


This application proposed the re-use of a brownfield site to provide 21 additional affordable homes with no significant adverse amenity affects. 


Mr Woodcock (Objector) had no issue with the development and layout.  He lived in an adjacent dwelling with a privet hedge on his boundary.  He had requested the removal of the hedge and its replacement with a fence as he was concerned that the proposal to prune the hedge would make his garden insecure for his children and dogs.


Mr Cramp (for Applicant) said the existing homes were old and needed significant investment.  They were all three bedroom dwellings with very large gardens and did not cater for local need.  The proposal would include speed restrictions along Dennys Walk, low level lighting and boundary changes.  With regard to the hedge, he felt it would be nice to retain it.


The Chairman suggested that a 2m fence, angled down to 1m near the road would be acceptable in place of the hedge and Members agreed.


Councillor Martin asked if the affordable housing could be allocated to local people and Mr Cramp advised that part of the legal agreement required 11 of the houses to be for people with a local connection.


Mr Cramp further confirmed that Flagship Housing would be responsible for maintaining the low-level lighting bollards and the Open Space.  The main spine road would be adopted by NCC and they would be responsible for street lighting on that road.


It was agreed that a condition be added to the permission requiring a 2m high, close-boarded fence with concrete posts to be provided along the full length of Mr Woodcock’s boundary with the development, reducing to 1m high near the road to meet Highway visibility requirements.


Deferred, and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the section 106 agreement.


c)     Item 3: SNETTERTON: Snetterton REB Station, Off Chalk Lane, Snetterton Heath: Minor Material Amendment to 3PL/2014/0632/F – see Schedule of Modifications to the Snetterton REB Station: Applicant: Burmeister & Wainscandinavian Contractors: Reference: 3PL/2015/0651/F


Members were given a brief history of the site and shown photographs of the construction which was well underway.  Comparative site plans and elevations were shown of the previously approved and proposed amendments.  Officers considered that the revisions were not substantially different and there would be no environmental impact.  No decision would be issued until the expiry of the press notice on 30 November 2015.


Ms Skinner (Parish Council) said it was a controversial application with a lot of opposition due to its effect on the quality of life, visual amenity and traffic impact on residents.  The amendment was an enlargement and was retrospective.  Light pollution was having a big impact on the village.  She suggested a site visit after dark.  The 30,000 additional tonnes of straw equated to 2,000 extra lorry movements per year on a road that was not fit for purpose.  She urged Members to visit the site and consider the interests of residents.


Councillor Cowen (Ward Representative) had opposed the original application.  A lot of misinformation had been provided.  The flue was 60m high and the hall 30m high.  The scale of increase in the height and footprint was monumental.  The applicant had already started building without the MMAs being approved.  He asked if all the pre-conditions had been met and it was later confirmed that they had.


Councillor Chapman-Allen noted that water discharge was not part of the application but she considered it important.  She was disappointed that the Applicant was not present to answer questions.  The Environment Agency Officer had said that the substantial variation to the permit needed a new application.  The discharge would cause pollution and could cause the Harling development site to be in a flood zone.  If the permit was not approved the site could not operate.  She could not support the application.  Members had not been allowed to discuss the power cable concerns during the initial application and now Snetterton received no power from the site.


The Operations & Contract Manager explained that permission had been granted for an alteration to the discharge route without objection from the Environment Agency.  They were considering the permit application but that was not a planning matter.


Councillor Sharpe asked who controlled the amount of foodstuff used at the site as it might affect the number of traffic movements.  He was advised that was a permit consideration not a planning matter.


Councillor Joel lived near the site and confirmed that there was no electricity for local people.  The lighting was bad and would be worse if the development was higher.  Building was already taking place without permission.


The Operations & Contract Manager advised that a lot of applications were retrospective and it was not illegal to commence work before permission was granted.


Councillor Claussen recalled attending a display on the original application.  It had been meant to open up the Snetterton Heath Employment Area.  Members had been misled and would not have approved the application if they had known the facts.


Councillor Brame asked if the light pollution was only during the construction period and that was confirmed.


The Chairman was concerned about the lighting and the traffic movements and the Operations & Contract Manager offered to write to the Applicants to raise those issues.  If Members refused the application it was likely to go to appeal.  The question to be considered was, were the changes substantively harmful enough to warrant refusal?


The Chairman asked for an Environmental Health Officer to visit the site to determine the timescale of works and to see if the lighting could be reduced.


Councillor Martin asked how far the site was from houses and Ms Skinner advised that the site was visible from both ends of the village.


Approved, as recommended.  Councillor Claussen abstained.


d)    Item 4: NARBOROUGH: Chalk Lane: Development of 55 residential dwellings: Applicant: Persimmon Homes East Midlands: Reference: 3PL/2015/0926/D


Items 4 and 5 were discussed together.  Both applications were on allocated housing sites.  The indicative site layout for Item 4 was shown in comparison to the one submitted for the Reserved Matters, along with elevations and illustrative images.


Mr & Mrs Walker (Objectors) represented residents of the adjacent single-storey estate.  They strongly objected to the introduction of two storey dwellings close to their estate and asked Members to reject the layout and require a buffer zone.  They showed photographs from their home which they believed would be overlooked and overshadowed by the new development.  The number of windows overlooking their property would cause a loss of privacy and amenity.  They also suggested that more safety measures were needed to allow access to the Community Centre across the road from the site.


Councillor Sharpe thought the design of the houses left a lot to be desired and was surprised that Officers had not objected to them.  The Principal Planning Officer advised that he had requested amendments but they had not been taken forward.


Councillor Brame asked if the proposal had been all single storey at Outline stage and he was advised that that had not been considered at that time, although the Applicants had been advised to consult with neighbours.


The Operations and Contract Manager was also concerned that only one dwelling overlooked the Open Space whereas it had been more integrated in the development on the indicative layout at Outline Stage.


Councillor Claussen asked where the affordable housing element was situated.  It was pointed out on the map; all in the South West corner of the development.  He thought that it should be integrated and difficult to identify and said that Persimmon were not listening to the Council or to the neighbours.


Councillor Sharpe proposed that the applications be deferred to allow Officers to negotiate with the Applicant and that proposal was seconded by Councillor Brame.


Deferred, for negotiations with the Applicant on design, layout, lack of integration of affordable housing and lack of overlooking of the Open Space areas.


e)    Item 5: NARBOROUGH: Chalk Lane: The erection of 18 residential dwellings: Applicant: Persimmon Homes East Midlands: Reference: 3PL/2015/0928/F


Items 4 and 5 were discussed together.  See Minute No 134/15d above.


Deferred, for negotiations with the Applicant on design, layout, lack of integration of affordable housing and lack of overlooking of the Open Space areas.


f)      Item 6: SNETTERTON: Land to North-West of A11 London Road: Erection of Factory, Warehouse and Office Building for the manufacture and distribution of pet food: Applicant: Nature’s Menu: Reference: 3PL/2015/0967/F


Deferred.  See Minute No 130/15 above.


g)    Item 7: SNETTERTON: Grange Farm, Chalk Lane: Extension to access road and creation of drainage lagoon: Applicant: Twells Partnership: Reference: 3PL/2015/0982/F


Deferred.  See Minute No 130/15 above.


h)    Item 8: GOODERSTONE: Plot One, The Street: Removal of condition 4 on 3PL/2011/1088/F: Applicant: Mr James Howard: Reference: 3PL/2015/1053/F


This application requested the removal of a condition requiring a chimney.  It was not considered that its omission would harm the appearance of the area.


Mr Howard (Applicant) said the Government was striving to improve home energy efficiency.  His house had been designed to exceed the current requirements and a chimney would detract from that.  The aim was to prevent heat exchange and get close to Passive House standards.


Approved, as recommended.


i)       Item 9: DEREHAM: 41 Market Place: Change of use from A1 (Shops) to A3 (Food and Drink): Applicant: D & A (2127) Limited: Reference: 3PL/2015/1182/CU


The recommendation had been changed to approval following receipt of evidence of marketing of the property.


Officers felt that despite the loss of an A1 unit in the primary shopping area the change of use would create regular footfall.  The shop front would be preserved.  Subject to full details of the extractor flue and no further objections being received before the end of the publication period (17 November) the application was recommended for approval.


Councillor Webb (Ward Representative) said that the shop had been boarded up for three years without any retail users taking the opportunity to occupy it.   The site was in a very important position beneath the town sign.  The change of use was welcomed and might encourage new businesses and more visitors into the town.  There was major support from constituents and Dereham retailers.


Councillor W Richmond was also a Ward Representative and said that a new restaurant was better than an empty shop.  It would create jobs. 


Councillor Duigan noted that the retail environment had changed.  He thought the restaurant would help Dereham and pointed out that there were other empty units available for retail.


Approved, as recommended.


Supporting documents: