Agenda item

Appendix C - Proposals for Swaffham Settlement Boundary

Minutes:

Two allocations of Open Space were proposed.

Five amendments were proposed to the Settlement Boundary.

 

Open Space Allocation

 

Mr Richard Bishop, Clerk to Swaffham Town Council, said that they supported the two proposed allocations.

 

No further comments were made.

 

Settlement Boundary Changes

 

Mr Bishop noted that land at Stanfield House, adjacent to SW.1, had recently received planning permission for residential development.  He asked if the Settlement Boundary would be redrawn to include that.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer said that if the planning permission was for care home accommodation they would still recommend that the land remained outside the Settlement Boundary as it was not an established residential land use.

 

Mr Bishop explained that there was a combination of accommodation on the site including 14 half-way house units.  A Member clarified that these were for people not requiring full-time care.

 

A Member suggested that a separate Policy was needed to cover Residential Homes.  He felt that they should not be included within other categories.  There were likely to be many more such applications in the future and he thought that they should have a separate planning category.

 

The Development Services Manager (Capita Symonds for Breckland Council) agreed that this should be reviewed.

 

Mr Bishop said that in discussions with the developer this site was put forward on a ‘stand alone’ basis as it provided both accommodation and employment.  He was concerned that this housing provision would be taken from the allocation for Swaffham.

 

The Principal Planning Officer said that they needed details of the planning permission.  If the units were for independent living they would count towards the housing figures for Swaffham.  However, if they had communal kitchen facilities and other shared areas, they would not.  He agreed to liaise with Swaffham Town Council to clarify this matter.<1>

 

Mr Sharpe then spoke about the proposed revisions to the Settlement Boundary, as permitted under the Code of Conduct, before leaving the room.  He said that Swaffham had been allocated an additional 250 houses and that the preferred site was to the south of the town, immediately adjacent a site with planning permission for 400 houses.  There had been a great deal of local objection to that permission because it was felt that the existing road could not cope with the additional traffic generated by 400 houses.  If the additional 250 houses were also developed in this location he was sure that it would cause problems as there were already queues on the road at rush hour and in the summer.

 

He proposed that the allocation should be split, with half of the houses being developed on the site to the south and the other 125 being built on a site to the north of the town to the east of site SW.5 abutting the A47.  This would relieve some of the pressure on the south of the town.  If this proposal had an effect on the amount of Open Space, he suggested that some Open Space allocation could be moved to the south of the town.

 

Mr Sharpe then left the room.

 

The Chairman asked for clarification of the land allocations agreed for Swaffham and the Principal Planning Policy Officer said that at the meeting of the Group on 14 October the recommendation for the allocation of site H.1 to the south of the town had been agreed.  However, the Group had also instructed officers to look at a split, like the one suggested today, with 100 of the houses going to a site to the north of the town adjacent SW.5 which had been promoted by Swaffham Town Council.  There were a number of issues on that site, including Highways concerns and the fact that the land was in multiple ownership.  The suggestion would be fed into the Cabinet process for determination of the allocations.

 

Currently the allocation for 250 houses was outside the Settlement Boundary, but once it was approved the boundary would be redrawn around it.

 

In response to a question, it was noted that the land to the east of SW.5 was originally allocated for employment.

 

A Member recalled that the Group had supported the idea of splitting the allocation to balance the town and because it was supported by the Town Council.

 

Mr Bishop confirmed that they were not concerned with including the proposed sites within the Settlement Boundary at this stage, as long as they would be included if their allocations were approved.

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

The Group supported the proposed allocations of Open Space at SWOS.1 and SWOS.2 as recommended.

 

The Group supported the proposed changes to the Settlement Boundary (SW.1 – SW.5) as recommended, subject to resolving the issue of the housing allocation at Stanfield House.

 

Supporting documents: