Agenda item

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda item 9)

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr Graham Tweed

Saham Toney



Orbit Homes (2020) Ltd




Mr Ian Thompson




Mr T Atkins

South Lopham



AJ Garrod and Son




Mr D Burdett

Stow Bedon/Breckles



Mr G R Woodyatt




The Garrod Partnership Ltd

North Elmham



David Alson (Norfolk) Ltd

Old Buckenham



Palmer & Son




R W Duffield Ltd

Swanton Morley



Clayland Homes (Ashill) Ltd




Mr Simon Ball




Mr & Mrs Smith







a.    Item 1 – Saham Toney: Richmond Hall: Residential development of up to 35 dwellings, open space, access, parking and associated works (all matters reserved): Applicant: Mr Graham Tweed: Reference: 3PL/2015/0976/O


            Councillor Bowes abstained from voting on this application for the reason that her family had a planning application in the vicinity.  She asked if it was appropriate for the reasons to be recorded in the Minutes as she had received conflicting views.  The Solicitor advised that a Member may abstain from voting; however, in his professional opinion, it was important in light of the seven principles of public life and to avoid issues of bias to be open, honest and transparent and making it clear to the public, and in the Minutes, the reason for the abstention.


            Chris Hobson, the Principal Planning Officer (Capita) presented the application.  Attention was drawn to the supplementary agenda (page 188) where further representations had been received.


            The site location, photographs and the layout of the proposed scheme, which included 40% affordable housing, were highlighted. There were a number of benefits to this application but one of the key issues for refusal was the projection of the proposal into open countryside which was considered unacceptable.  Objections had also been received from the Flood Authority as it had not, as yet, been demonstrated that the site could accommodate satisfactory management of local flood risk.


            Mr Chris Blow, an objector to the application, highlighted a number of reasons why the application should be refused including, the destruction of open countryside, the likelihood of instigating further development and the flooding issues.  Further to this the site, in his opinion, was not sustainable, the capacity at the school and the Doctors was oversubscribed and the site access was close to a blind bend.  He felt that a development of this type should show support from local residents and this application clearly did not.


            Refused, as recommended.


b.    Item 2: Attleborough: Land at Haverscroft House Farm, London Road: Erection of 200 dwellings with associated works, landscaping, play areas, vehicle/cycle paths: Applicant: Orbit Homes (2020) Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2016/0325/F


Simon Wood, the Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the application.


Orbit Housing would be delivering the affordable housing itself which would be conditioned.  A formal response from Highways England was still awaited and a decision notice could not be issued until the Holding Direction had been lifted.  Acoustic fencing would be erected for those dwellings that directly abutted the A11 and a ‘Trim Trail’ on the southern boundary would be installed which would help encourage fitness.


The Applicant’s Agent, Mr Hendry was in attendance and expressed his support for the application and was happy to answer any questions.


The Chairman raised a concern about parking provision as he felt that parking courts did not always work.


Councillor Clarke asked if the discussions with the applicant in respect of health care contributions had been finalised.  Members were informed that the exact details were still under discussion.  The Agent stated that the applicant was quite happy to provide a proportionate contribution to health care provision; however, this matter was still being explored with the Attleborough Neighbourhood Steering Group.   Councillor Clarke was quite keen to know what this health care contribution would be used for and how this would help to mitigate the current problems.  Members were informed that this was part of the current debate.  It was noted that there was nothing in the conditions that reflected this provision and this would be investigated.


Councillor Claussen totally supported the Chairman on the issue of parking courts and felt that these would create problems going forward.  The Agent advised that the applicant had made sure that these parking courts were sufficiently overlooked and laybys would also be installed.


Councillor Martin, a Ward Member for Attleborough, fully supported the application and was pleased to see that the cycle path was being extended.


Councillor Duigan asked if the response from Highway England would cause a delay to the application and also asked how soon the house building would start if Members were mindful to approve the application.  The Interim Business Manager (Capita) advised that a Holding Order was relatively a matter of course and should be fairly quick.  In response to the latter question, the Agent hoped that building would commence as early as spring 2017.


Approved, as recommended.


c.    Item 3: Necton: Town Farm, Chantry Lane: Four new dwellings: Applicant: Mr Ian Thompson: Reference: 3PL/2016/0388/O


Attention was drawn to the additional information on the supplementary agenda (page 194).


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the application.  The site plan, photographs of the area and the key issues were highlighted.  The site was located relatively close to the Settlement Boundary and the scheme represented development of a brownfield site but was considered to be a sustainable development having regard to the lack of a five year housing supply.  The development would be unlikely to significantly affect local amenity subject to satisfactory details on layout and amenity being addressed at the Reserved Matters stage.


Approved, as recommended.


d.    Item 4: South Lopham: Site next to Willowdene, Primrose Lane: Erection of a 4 bedroom house and detached garage: Applicant: Mr T Atkins: Reference: 3PL/2016/0613/F


The Principal Planning Officer (Capita) presented the application. Site plans, photographs of the area and the key issues were highlighted.  The site would be located in open countryside as there was no Settlement Boundary for South Lopham and would be immediately adjacent to a Conservation Area.


Planning permission had previously been granted in 2007 for the erection of a detached two storey dwelling and a single garage but had never been implemented.


Councillor Brame mentioned the colour of the clay pantiles.


Approved, as recommended.


e.    Item 5: Rocklands: Peels Farm, Whitings Lane: Proposed expansion to existing pig rearing unit to provide 5 additional pig rearing sheds: Applicant: A J Garrod and Son: Reference: 3PL/2016/0748/F


Further information had been provided on the supplementary agenda on page 192.


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the application.  An idea of how the development would look was shown.  Members were informed that the capacity would increase by 5,000 pigs and views from the Environmental Health Officer were awaited.  The proposal fell within Schedule 1 of the Environmental Impact Regulations and was therefore classed as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) development and for this reason the decision notice would be deferred until the completion of the EIA.


The applicant’s Agent, Erica Whettingsteel was in attendance and explained that Whitings Lane was classed as a track and was not used by other traffic except for the farm; however, the applicant had offered to resurface some of the laybys so that farm traffic could pass.  The technology would be exemplar in terms of how these units would be managed in relation to odour and noise and an Environmental Permitting Regulation permit had already been granted by the Environment Agency with some details and requests from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust in relation to their nearby County Wildlife Site and therefore, issues relating to nitrogen emissions, odour, noise, vibration etc had already been considered and completed through the permitting process.


Councillor Joel asked how many additional HGV movements there would be.  Members were informed that this was unknown but other issues could be adequately dealt with by conditions and any further issues would have to be addressed by the Planning Committee.  The Agent advised that there would be a maximum of 40 two way movements over a seven week cycle.  The trips would be spread evenly and could be dealt with through a Traffic Management Plan.  It was noted that there would be no HGV movements for approximately 20% of the year.


Councillor Claussen raised a concern about the times of the traffic movements and felt that the removal of mature pigs at 5am in the morning would make a considerable amount of noise and should be addressed.  He also wanted assurance that after the seven week cycle period the smell would disappear.  The Chairman reminded the Committee that there had been great improvements made for odour control. 


In response to a question, Members were informed that there had been representations received from the nearest neighbouring properties.


Approved, as recommended subject to the resolution of outstanding matters in relation to the EIA relating to traffic and odour management.


Two Members abstained from voting on this application.


f.     Item 6: Stow Bedon/Breckles: Mere House, Mere Road: Proposed single storey detached dwelling and detached garage: Applicant: Mr D Burdett: Reference: 3PL/2016/0787/F


The Principal Planning Officer presented the application.  Four representations had been received including the Parish Council raising objections to the proposal.


The key issues were highlighted.  The site was currently used as a residential garden in association with Mere House and the proposed bungalow would sit immediately adjacent to the Settlement Boundary.


Approved, as recommended.


g.    Item 7: Watton: Ventura House, Norwich Road: Change of use from B1 to C3 residential units 3 - 6, including external works and parking and amenity space: Applicant: Mr G. R. Woodyatt: Reference: 3PL/2016/0834/F


The Principal Planning Officer (Capita) presented this application.  Site location, photographs of the area and plans highlighting the external alterations to the building and to the landscape were shown. No objections had been received from the Town Council.


The key issues were highlighted.  The building would continue to be used as office space as well as the proposed residential dwellings and it was felt that this continued use would have an impact of future occupiers.  The Government had introduced a change to enable certain office use buildings to change to residential subject to prior approval; however, there had not been any prior approval submitted for this particular site; therefore, a refusal was recommended.  It was noted that Policy DC06 sought to protect General Employment Areas; however, the applicant had advertised these empty office units for the last six years without success and due to the lack of demand had submitted an application for this alternative use in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).  Members were informed that this application for this proposed residential use should be assessed on its own merits whilst taking into account that no prior approval had been granted for this site.  The application had been recommended for refusal on the following grounds, amenity and pedestrian access.


Mr Woodyatt, the applicant’s son was in attendance and informed Members that these buildings had been constructed during the 2nd World War for a former barracks.  He pointed out that these particular units had been standing empty for quite some time hence this application for a change of use.   He felt it unfair to call the site an industrial estate as behind the block in question was a gym and a children’s nursery all of whom had to walk past the building and felt that the reason for refusal on the grounds of pedestrian safety was unfair and unjustified. It was noted that Mr Woodyatt had contacted a local action group who were in full support of the application as residential accommodation of this nature was in short supply.


Councillor Wassell, a Ward Member for Watton spoke in support of the application.  He had taken the opportunity to visit the site on a number of occasions and the noise levels, in his opinion, were more than acceptable.  The carpet shop on the site was not commercial it was retail and as far as the issue of the lack of footpaths was concerned, Breckland had a whole rural district without footpaths. The applicant was a local businessman who was willing to provide this type of accommodation in the form of one and two bed homes which everyone knew was in short supply, unlike these speculative non local developers that did not care about the long term future of either the residents who would enjoy these properties or the town itself.  He urged Members to go against the Officer’s recommendation and approve the application as an indication of Breckland’s desire to provide homes for its residents in the right location built by a local developer. 


Councillor Clarke asked if the comments on page 96 of the agenda under paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3 had been made by the Officers or Highways as according to the application Highways had not raised any safety issues.  The Principal Planning Officer confirmed that these were the Officer’s views.


Councillor Duigan felt that the amount of residential applications coming through the system for Watton there might be a need for commercial and asked how this fitted in with the Local Plan.  He further felt that splitting the building into office and residential accommodation would not qualify for affordable housing and it was more than likely that the office use would eventually relocate.


Councillor Bowes, also a Ward Member for Watton stated that there was a demand for this type of accommodation in the town; notwithstanding the fact that the buildings were originally residential.  She reminded Members of the large residential estate opposite this site.


The Chairman believed the best way to explain the site was a mixed use of commercial enterprises.


Mike Brennan, the Operations & Contract Manager felt that Members were getting mixed up; Officers were not objecting to the change of use, this was about the uncontrolled surrounding uses that could cause problems to future applications. Councillor Claussen pointed out that he knew of such mixed uses that worked well in other countries.


Councillor Joel wanted to know if it had made any difference to the decision if the Government agreement had been granted.  Members were informed that the criteria would still not have been met but without these impacts, a change of use would be viewed upon favourably.


Refused, as recommended.


h.    Item 8: North Elmham: Land to the North of Eastgate Street: Creation of new vehicular access and erection of 11 new dwellings: Applicant: The Garrod Partnership Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2016/0848/F


The Principal Planning Officer presented this application.  The site formed part of a Conservation Area and a previous application submitted in 2015 had been refused.  The reason for the previous refusal had been due to the lack of open space.  The applicant had now allowed for a greater amount of open space that did not restrict the views to the north.  Eight objections had been received; however, the Parish Council was in support of the application subject to a condition that the open space in this proposed development be transferred to the Parish with a maintenance grant under a S106 Agreement with the intention of it being managed by the Parish Council as a public open space in perpetuity.


The recommendation was one of approval subject to conditions and a S106 Agreement.


Mr Price, an objector to the application, asked when the current proposal being shown had been updated as the plans that he had been provided with were different.  The Chairman felt that there was no option but to defer the application for this reason.  Following discussion, it was agreed that the plan that was being shown on the screen was correct and was the one that was going to be discussed.  The objector was happy to move forward with this and addressed the Committee.  He lived the nearest to the proposed development and raised a number of concerns including flood risk, loss of open space and his garden being overshadowed by plot 6 as well as loss of privacy.  He also raised concerns about the site being outside the Settlement Boundary and being part of a Conservation Area and asked why this site had not been put forward as the preferred site in the Local Plan.  He also asked, if Members were mindful to approve the application, if the open space could be handed to the Parish Council so that further development could not take place.  Another concern raised was in relation to the brownfield site on Station Yard that had not, as yet, been developed and he felt that this approved application should be developed first.


Councillor Bambridge, on behalf of the Parish Council, wanted to raise one issue in relation to the open space.  The Parish Council was concerned that there could be further development on the site if not transferred as requested.


Councillor Borrett, Ward Member, was in support of the application; however, he did not support the open space being transferred to the Parish Council as, in his opinion, it should remain as agricultural land.  The access to the agricultural land was highlighted.


Councillor Claussen felt that the application looked like a village estate and ruined the linear aspect of the village.  He was concerned that a Conservation Area held little weight in this instance unlike other applications and concurred with the objector’s concerns.


In response to a number of the concerns raised, the Principal Planning Officer advised that in relation to overlooking, two of the windows would be located to the rear of the property so there would be no overlooking in Mr Prices’ garden, decisions did vary for each Conservation Area and the Historic Advisor had not raised any objection to the application.


Councillor Claussen asked if the applicant had been advised of the Committee’s preference to have more of a linear development.  Members were informed that he had not been party to the discussion in the previous application.  Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen concurred with the above views.


Refused, contrary to the recommendation on the grounds that the proposed development would not sit well in a linear village, would have an impact on the Listed Buildings as well as the landscape and, the defined open space element should be made perfectly clear.


i.      Item 9: Old Buckenham: The Shrublands, Attleborough Road: Demolition of existing grain store and erection of two No barn style dwellings with detached double garages: Applicant: David Alston (Norfolk) Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2016/0889/F


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented this application.  Site plans, maps and photographs were shown.  It was noted that there was already consent on the site for residential conversion to the existing barns.  The development was outside the Settlement Boundary but was a replacement of the existing grain store and it was felt that the proposal would improve the area.


Mr Paul Clarke, the Applicant’s Agent thanked Members for the opportunity to speak.  He explained that the grain store was becoming surplus to the applicant’s needs and the intention had been for it to become a residential building which could be converted into 3 dwellings; however, the building itself did not have any architectural merit and he believed that the demolition of it was the best way forward.


Councillor Joel, the Ward Member had supported the previous application but had thought that 8 properties on a private road was the maximum allowed and asked, if a further 3 was approved, would this be subject to an affordable housing contribution.  Members were informed that the whole site could be developed through on a prior approval basis but as it stood the affordable housing element was not required.


Approved, as recommended.


j.      Item 10: Whissonsett: Agricultural land at Hall Farm, Hall Lane: New dwelling: Applicant: Palmer & Son: Reference: 3PL/2016/0891/O


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the application.  The application site was outside the Settlement Boundary and the Public Right of Way associated to this proposal would have to be subject to the normal processes.  The dwelling sat well with existing properties and the site opposite had just recently been granted planning permission.


The key issues were highlighted.


The Solicitor, Steven Bell advised that as it would be necessary to divert the footpath for the purposes of this permission as stated in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Members needed to resolve that they were satisfied that a diversion was necessary to enable the development to be carried out.


Councillor Wilkinson mentioned the Parish Council comments in relation to the electricity transformer and asked if this would have to be moved.  The Interim Business Manager (Capita) advised that this matter would be discussed with the Power Network.  In response to a question, the Solicitor explained that Norfolk County Council would form part of the consultation process in respect of the diversion of the footpath and would have the opportunity to comment.


            Approved, as recommended.  Members were satisfied that a       diversion of the footpath pursuant to s.257 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 affected by the development was necessary in            order for the development to be carried out in accordance with this planning permission.


k.    Item 11: Swanton Morley: Land adjacent Jacobs, Greengate: Erection of detached dwelling and garage: Applicant: R W Duffield Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2016/1068/F


This application had been referred to the Committee due to the applicant being a Ward Member.


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the application.  The site was within the Settlement Boundary and if Members were mindful to approve the application, the existing access would be moved.  A number of trees on the site had already been felled.  The key issues were highlighted.


Approved, as recommended.


l.      Item 12: Ashill: Land adjacent the Community Centre, Hale Road: Linear residential development  consisting of 7no. single storey bungalows


Further information had been supplied on page 194 of the supplementary agenda.


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the re-submitted application that had previously been discussed at the Planning Committee in August 2016 following further discussions with the applicant and Agent.


The site was outside the Settlement Boundary.  An indicative layout had been submitted showing a linear development which was felt to be more appropriate and alleviated the previous concerns. Concerns relating to the loss of views had been received from the residents opposite the site which were not deemed to be of a material consideration in terms of this application.


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) pointed out that this land had been put forward as a preferred site in the Local Plan and any comments received would be assessed through the Local Plan process.  No objections had been received from the Highways Authority even though the proposal included widening of Hale Road and the amenity issues would be dealt with during the Reserved Matters stage.


Members were asked to consider the principle of the development and the access only.


The Operations and Contract Manager made it clear that although representations had been received, at this point in time, no weight could be given to the Local Plan.


Councillor Sharpe, the Ward Member for Ashill, stated that he had pre-determined the application and although allowed to speak would leave the room whilst this matter was being discussed. He pointed out that Members were required to consider the merits of this outline application and reminded Members that on 21 August 2016 the Committee refused this application.  The proposal, in his opinion, would result in permanent harm to the rural nature of this area and the loss of view, although classed as immaterial, had been referred to and considered in the North Elmham application.  The Interim Business Manager (Capita) reminded the Committee that the previous refusal was not in relation to the loss of the open ‘gap’ but for the scale and nature of the development; and in terms of North Elmham, that application was in a Conservation Area and this one was not.


Marilyn Rix, an objector to the application had brought in photographs of the area for Members to view.  She owned two properties directly opposite the site and strongly objected to the application.  In her opinion, Hale Road was too narrow to cope with any further development.  There were already existing traffic issues including three fatalities, the proposal did not highlight the overhead cables and the land had been registered to the developer for possible further development.  The Parish Council had stated that no building should take place on this land.


Mr Richard Leighton, the Chairman of the Parish Council, was also in attendance and objected to this application for exactly the same reasons as before.  The view across the Wissey Valley should be retained as any construction would take this away, the scheme involved a central access point to serve the agricultural land and as far as he was concerned, would not be used for agricultural purposes but be used for future development, and the proposed development would be next door to the Community Centre which could involve noise issues.  He pointed out that the Parish Council had identified another site in the village suitable for this type of development that was inside the Settlement Boundary.


Mr Henry Isotta-Day, the Applicant’s Agent, informed Members that the application site was a featureless agricultural field and there were no issues with ecology and had been included in the forthcoming Local Plan.  The proposal now included 7 bungalows with access to the road and access to the field at the back and the development was purely to provide homes for seven new families in the proposed Service Centre village.  A new footpath was also being proposed as well as the planting of new trees and shrubs.


Councillor Darby asked where the Community Hall was in context to the proposed development.  Members were informed that there were already properties near this building.


Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen referred to Norfolk County Council’s comments in relation to the widening of Hale Road and asked if it would have any effect to the shape and form.  Members were informed that the road would be widened to 5.5 metres to the site frontage and would have a marginal effect.  She also mentioned the gas pipe line referred to on page 127 of the agenda and asked if this had to be moved would the development be financially viable.  Members were informed that no further comments had been received in relation to this matter.


Councillor Martin asked if the proposal for single storey dwellings could change.  He further asked if there was another access for the farmer.  In response to the first question, the Interim Business Manager advised that if Members felt this to be a key consideration this could be conditioned.  The Agent explained that the farmer would use this access at the back of the development.  The Chairman of the Parish Council pointed out that the farmer could access the field all the way along the back. In response to a question about land ownership, the Committee was informed that Claydon Homes owned the application site and the farmer owned the land behind. 


Councillor Claussen suggested that the application be brought back to Committee if there was any deviation to the number of dwellings.  The Operations and Contract Manager assured Members that the application for seven single storey dwellings could not be increased.


Councillor Joel asked if the views were considered important.  The Interim Business Manager advised that the application was for one of approval and the loss of a view was not a material consideration as any development would have an impact on someone; and in his opinion, if Members were mindful to approve the application the loss of view was not considered to be significant.


Approved, as recommended subject to conditions.


m.   Item 13: Ickburgh: The Old Forge, Swaffham Road: Erection of detached bungalow and garage: Applicant: Mr Simon Ball: Reference: 3PL/2016/1097/F


The Principal Planning Officer presented the application.  Six representations had been received; five in support and one objection.  The site sought planning permission for the erection of one, three bedroom bungalow with attached garage and carport within the curtilage of an existing bungalow; the recommendation was for one of approval.  Highways Authority had raised no objection to the application subject to conditions. The layout, design and the site plan as well as a number of photographs of the proposed development site, were highlighted.


Mrs Ball, the applicant, had lived in the property which was on a spacious plot for 17 years.  That part of the garden was too big to manage and was now overgrown.  The existing access would be greatly improved and the existing hedging would remain; additionally, there would be no noticeable effect on the current property.


Councillor Brame had noticed that the clay pantiles in the conditions did not state the colour.  The Chairman stated that they would be conditioned as being red.


Councillor Marion Chapman-Allen asked about the hedgehog condition as she had not come across one before.  Mrs Ball advised that the ecological report had requested that a hedgehog house be installed.


Approved, as recommended.


n.    Item 14: Necton: Land adjacent to Damson Cottage, Necton Road: Proposed construction of two dwellings on land adjacent to Damson Cottage: Applicant: Mr & Mrs Smith: Reference: 3PL/2016/1158/O


The Interim Business Manager (Capita) presented the outline application which was a re-submission of a previously refused application in August 2016; the only alteration was that the submission provided more written representation in support of the application.  The key issues were highlighted.


Mrs Smith, the applicant purchased Damson Cottage in 1992 and following advice removed the existing buildings on the site as they had been condemned. 


Mr Adrian Jarrett, the Applicant’s Agent, was in attendance and pointed out that the proposed site was a very large area and was formerly occupied by agricultural buildings.  Other sporadic developments had been approved in the vicinity and were, in his opinion, further away than the proposal.  He felt that the development would enhance the area and contribute to the housing supply in Breckland.


Approved, contrary to the recommendation on the grounds that the proposal:


·         was not an isolated development,

·         was considered sustainable; and

·         was in line with Government Policy in relation to building on brownfield sites, and

·         the queries/concerns from the previous refusal had been addressed.


Supporting documents: