Agenda item

Wayland Ward

Minutes:

Great Hockham

 

The proposal in this case was to maintain the existing settlement boundary.

 

Mr. C. Wiltshire for the Parish Council disagreed with the recommendation, explaining that the Parish Council had submitted proposals for six small changes as part of the 2008 consultation process.

 

In support of the Parish Council’s views, he explained that the village had key services and, while the parish did not wish to see any large-scale development, there were some inconsistencies that needed to be addressed.  A map indicating the six sites in question was displayed, with the sites thereon marked a – f.  Mr. Wiltshire explained the reasons for inclusion of these sites within the settlement boundary as follows:

 

Site a – there was an existing planning permission.

Site b – would enable some small development

Site c – existing children’s centre with planning permission

Site d – to align the boundary which presently runs across a field

Site e – would allow small development of 2 or 3 houses

Site f – would tidy up an existing inconsistency

 

The Parish Council felt these minor amendments would not change or harm the form and character of the village.  Furthermore, there was no infill land existing and the inclusion of one or two sites for small-scale development of 2 or 3 houses would support the village’s sustainability.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer advised that the report gave the officers’ professional opinion but the Task and Finish Group had asked in other instances for a matter to be reviewed with the Parish Council with a view to seeking a reasonable alternative or compromise recommendation on a site.

 

So far as the Parish Council’s proposals on sites b, c and e were concerned, the Principal Planning Policy Officer maintained the views against their inclusion on the grounds relating to landscape, form and character.

 

Mr. Wiltshire contended that potential development by one or two houses at the location of sites b and c would have no impact.  A question of the boundary with the village primary school was also raised.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer stated that the area beyond the school was marked by a strong natural hedgerow boundary, separating the built environment from the rural character.

 

The Ward Member spoke in support of small scale development in villages.  This village had the facilities it needed and account needed to be had of the needs of young families for the future.  He felt the Parish Council’s views should be heeded and proposed that the matter be reviewed with the Parish Council.

 

Other members expressed their support for the views of the Parish Council and the case made to amend the existing settlement boundary.  One member made the point that the proximity of the area of future growth along the A11 corridor would have an impact on future housing need in neighbouring villages such as this and some provision within the settlement boundary for extra housing would be beneficial to the whole area.

 

Mr. Cowen as Ward Member supported the views of the Parish Council and endorsed the comments made above, in relation to the growth area along the A11 corridor, which would create the need for a balance between employment and housing growth that would be required.  Villages such as Great Hockham provided that opportunity and needed to be sustained to meet future needs, by allowing them to grow organically as they had in the past.  Unless some amendment as proposed by the Parish Council was allowed for, the future sustainability of the village would be at risk.

 

Mr. Cowen also made the point that it was for the members as the Local Planning Authority who ultimately had the responsibility to determine decisions as to the form and character of the area.  If members believed small development would enhance the form and character of some villages, they should support such proposals.

 

A motion was carried for the officers to review the matter with the Parish Council.

 

Merton

 

There was no existing settlement boundary in this case and the report recommended no changes be made.

 

In response to a question from Mr. Monson, it was pointed out that the extent of the protected Stone Curlew buffer zone covered a significant part of the rural south-western part of the District, as shown on the displayed proposals map.

 

The Ward Member drew attention to the fact that this village was very close to the Peddars Way, Watton High School and Watton High Street.  While he did not feel a settlement boundary could be supported, he felt the Council needed to be mindful that even in such cases as small villages as this, they could still be active and sustainable areas. 

 

The Ward Member also felt that the issue of Stone Curlews needed to be kept in perspective, bearing in mind that they survived quite happily in the army training area.  The Chairman added that there was some flexibility about development adjoining the buffer zone.

 

Shropham

 

There was no existing settlement boundary in this case and the report recommended no changes be made.

 

The position of the Parish Council as stated in the report was noted.

 

The Ward Member advised that there had been a number of very well attended parish meetings to discuss growth issues in the village.

 

The village was located close to Snetterton, the largest employment growth area in the area, and was a vibrant farming area. 

 

The parish was keen to protect the village green area and felt this could best be achieved by limited development around its circumference, thus making it the heart of the village. 

 

The parish felt that it would be very contrary to remove the settlement boundary altogether.  The village has the opportunity to recapture some of its lost facilities if some growth was allowed for.

 

Mr. Napier, as Parish Council representative, supported the views of the Ward Member and confirmed that the parish desired to see some growth.

 

A member concurred with the strength of village views in the matter. There was strong access to the A11 which gave good reason to provide for some limited development as proposed.  He felt there was good potential for the future of the village and would support the proposals of the parish.

 

Other members supported the case made by the parish on grounds of employment opportunities afforded by its proximity to the A11. 

 

Three options were available:

 

a)     To delete the settlement boundary as recommended in the report

b)     To propose the retention of the existing settlement boundary as a reasonable alternative

c)      To recommend to Overview and Scrutiny and Cabinet to accept the options put forward by the Parish Council

 

It was pointed out that the area proposed for development by the Parish Council would allow for more than five dwellings, which was above the limit for small scale development in rural areas provided for in the Core Strategy.

 

Stow Bedon

 

The recommendation was to delete the existing settlement boundary.

 

Mr. P. Childs, Parish Council representative, read out a statement of the Parish Council views in support of retaining the existing settlement boundary.  A housing survey in the village had demonstrated scope for development in the centre of the village, around Chapel Farm, which would beneficially link the two halves of the village.  The loss of the settlement boundary would create a detrimental impact from increased infill development.  The housing needs survey also evidenced a need for a small amount of additional housing.

 

The Ward Member stated that all but one of the areas marked yellow on the maps had been developed.

 

There was a tendency across the district, and nationally, to take garden land to squeeze housing in to areas, which was inappropriate for rural villages and comprised their form and character.

 

The Chapel Farm site offered potential for a low density development in keeping with the form and character of the village and it was highlighted that planning permission had been granted and development commenced on the adjoining site.

 

For these reasons, the Ward Member disagreed with the recommendation in the report in this case.  He felt that to keep the settlement boundary would protect the village environment.

 

The Ward Member added that the green coloured area on the plan was in fact an area of ancient woodland open space and pointed out that the green tufted area marked on the map was not a Special Protected Area.

 

An alternative recommendation was proposed to retain the existing settlement boundary.

 

Thompson

 

The proposal recommended three minor amendments to the existing settlement boundary.

 

The Ward Member spoke in support of the recommended amendments and members endorsed this view.

 

Wretham

 

The proposal in this case was to delete the existing settlement boundary.

 

The Ward Member made reference to the existing planning permission for 27 houses on the former MOD site, the dispersed nature of the village and the fact that there were existing brownfield sites.  The village was also located near to the Thetford growth area.  For these reasons, he felt the removal of the settlement boundary did not raise significant issues for the village.

 

CONCLUSIONS – WAYLAND WARD

 

Great Hockham -    Refer back for review with the Parish Council.

 

Merton -                   Support recommendation of no change to the existing settlement boundary.

 

Shropham -             Propose alternative recommendation to accept the amendments put forward by the Parish Council.

Stow Bedon -          Propose to retain the existing settlement boundary, contrary to the recommendation.

Thompson -             Support the amendments to the settlement boundary as recommended.

Wretham -               Support the recommendation for deletion of the settlement boundary.