Agenda item

Panel 1 - Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2007


The Chairman of the Panel presented the report on what had been a well attended meeting, with a good discussion of the Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Development Plan Document of the Local Development Framework (LDF).  The meeting had had to adjourn due to time constraints but would be continued at an all day session on 8th November 2007.


(i)      Local Development Framework (LDF): Breckland Core Strategy & Development Control Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) – Preferred Policy Options Consultation (Minute 68/07)


         In answer to various questions on the issue of local service centres, the following points were noted:


o             Whether a non-qualifying village for local service centre status could reverse the position depended on the reasons why it did not qualify.  For example, if it failed on the grounds of lack of a bus service, it might be possible to find an alternative to assist qualification.  However, if it failed to qualify because there was no primary school, then it would struggle to qualify.

o             The list of local service centres had been drawn up based on regional planning criteria.  The final decision on the list for inclusion would fall to be made by the Cabinet.  There was some scope for manoeuvre on this point.

o             A member reiterated the importance of ensuring local service centres were best placed for the future.  He questioned the fact that Swanton Morley was identified as a local service centre but was a very rural village that looked to Dereham as its service centre, whereas Bawdeswell was not included as a service centre but was well-situated to serve the many villages bordering the area along the Fakenham-Norwich route and was almost certain to develop further.

o             The identification of service centres had tried as far as possible to push against the regional criteria to fit the needs of Breckland and there were two types of designation:  those centres capable of development and those centres identified for protection of existing service provision.

o             On the question of affordable housing, a member reiterated his wish to see the inclusion of affordable self-build within this provision.

o             Infrastructure provision remained a concern for members, particularly for the villages who were threatened with the lost of their post office and the impact this could have on other service provision.

o             Roads infrastructure was also a concern and the problems in Attleborough were cited as an example where improved traffic management was needed.  In this connection, it was explained that there was an Attleborough Transport Working Group which had been taking evidence as part of a wider transport strategy and there were a number of measures going forward as a part of that, including proposals for a station crossing, car parking and regarding traffic flow.  It was understood there was some funding available for these measures to go forward.

o             A transport review was under way in respect of Dereham and further reviews were planned for Swaffham and Watton in the New Year.


         The importance of the discussions on the LDF was stressed and members were encouraged to attend the next Panel meeting on 8th November.


         It was noted that there was no provision in the Committee timetable for the matter to come back to the Commission before it went to Cabinet on 20 November 2007 for approval to go to public consultation.  It had been provisionally proposed that members of the Commission should be invited to that meeting for joint consideration and it was suggested this option be pursued.


         RESOLVED that the report be noted and the question of enabling further consideration by the Commission before or jointly with the Cabinet be pursued.


(ii)     Adoption

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of Policy Development and Review Panel 1 held on 23 October 2007 be adopted.

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