Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 28 April 2008.


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 April 2008 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr B Rose and Mr M Spencer.



Declaration of Interest (Agenda Item 3)

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests they may have in any of the following items on the agenda.  The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial.


Members and Officers were asked to declare any interests at the time the applications were made.


Cllr C Bowles declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 11 (Swaffham) as she was a friend of the applicant and in Schedule Item 5 (Watton) as the application site was adjacent to her family’s business.


Mr F Sharpe declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Schedule Item 16 (Swaffham) by virtue of financial interest.


Mr A Byrne declared a personal interest in Schedule Item 4 (Snetterton) as he knew the applicant and owned adjacent land.


Mr N Wilkin declared a personal interest in Schedule Item 9 (Swanton Morley) as he knew the applicant.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman explained that the meeting had been moved to the Norfolk Room due to technical problems in the Anglia Room.   She pointed out the fire exits.



Requests to Defer Applications included in this Agenda (Agenda Item 5)

To consider any requests from Ward Members, officers or applicants to defer an application included in this agenda, so as to save any unnecessary waiting by members of the public attending for such applications.


The Development Services Manager informed Members that the applications at Agenda Item 9/Schedule Item 6 (Carbrooke) and Schedule Items 12, 13 and 14 (Kilverstone) had been withdrawn by the applicants.


He also notified Members that for Agenda Item 8/Schedule Item 5 (Watton) the recommendation had been changed from approval to refusal as the recently received report on noise had failed to address officers’ concerns.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 50 KB

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:


Swaffham: Proposed Residential Development, Brandon Road: Gladedale Homes: Application for Variation of S106 Agreement: Reference 3PL/2007/1436/H


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) introduced this item which had been approved at Committee in November 2007 subject to a S106 agreement requiring affordable housing, Public Open Space, construction to Code Level 3 and various financial contributions to local services.


Since that time the developer had gone into partnership with a Housing Association and because of this and the current downturn in the housing market they were requesting changes to the terms of the S106 agreement.


The reason for the urgency was that the partnership would cease at the end of May if permission was not granted.


The developers were proposing to change the mix of social rented and shared ownership housing and bring elements forward into Phase 1 and 2 of the build (previously to be in Phase 3 and 4).  These amendments had only been received last week and the Town Council, Highways and Norfolk Police were yet to be consulted on them.


The new proposal was that only the affordable housing element of the scheme should be built to Code Level 3, instead of the whole scheme.  If the whole scheme was to be built to Code Level 3 then they proposed a significant decrease in financial contributions.


It was explained that although the Code was voluntary at the moment it would become mandatory in 2010.  Members were also reminded that with the recent adoption of the Regional Spatial Strategy there was now a policy requirement for 10% of any scheme to use renewable energy, along with an increase to 35% (from 30%) for affordable housing requirement.


In conclusion the Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) told Members that despite the benefits of the affordable housing coming early, officers were not happy with the proposals.  In particular, the suggestion not to build to Code Level 3 was unacceptable.  No financial evidence had been provided to support this request and no offer made to build to Code Level 2 or 1 instead.


Mr Butters explained that he could not comment on the requested amendments as the Town Council had not yet been consulted, but mentioned that any archaeology found during the scheme had been promised to the town and reiterated concerns about contamination on the site.


Members discussed the proposals and supported the officer’s conclusion.  It was clarified that if the terms of the S106 were not agreed the application would return to Committee and could be refused.


It was further explained that due to current market conditions it was possible that the developer would ‘mothball’ the site and not commence building for some years.  In that case Code Level 3 would be mandatory for the whole build.


It was RESOLVED to defer the application for further discussions.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Environmental Planning Manager told Members that the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) had been published the previous week and that a paper would be presented to the next Development Control Committee to give background information.


The RSS was now adopted as part of the Council’s policy.  Under the Strategy there was a minimum of 35% affordable housing required in new developments and a requirement for the provision of 10% renewable energy on-site.


The Local Development Framework (LDF) was moving towards site specifics.  All Town and Parish Councils and Ward Members would receive up to date base maps showing flood risk, outstanding planning applications, etc.  They would also receive a topic paper on proposed Settlement Boundaries and any comments would be requested by September.


650 sites had been put forward and would be included in the consultation which commenced at the end of June.  However, not all sites would be considered for development.  They would be categorised as Performing, Un-conforming (could be suitable if ‘tweaked’) and Unreasonable.  She stressed that there were many more sites proposed than were needed.



Watton: Residential Development: Brandon Road: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0155/O (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


Cllr Bowes declared a personal and prejudicial interest and left the room whilst this item was discussed.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) introduced this outline application with all matters except access reserved.  There were presently four bungalows and various commercial buildings on site.  The proposal was to develop around 25 residential units.


Although the site was suitable for such development in policy terms there were some site specific concerns.  The proposed housing would be immediately adjacent an abattoir operating 24 hours per day.  There would be noise from animals and from plant and machinery.   A noise assessment report had been submitted with the application suggesting a four metre high acoustic screen.  The submitted proposals showed a one and a half metre bund topped by two and a half metre high planting.  More details had been requested as to the types and effectiveness of acoustic screening.


There were also concerns about contamination on the site because of its previous commercial use.  More information had been requested and had not been received in time to be assessed.  It was therefore considered that there was insufficient information to make an informed decision.  To meet the 13 week target date for the application it was necessary for the Committee to make a decision today.  Therefore the recommendation was for refusal on noise and contamination grounds.


Mr Took (Agent) told Members that it was the principal of development that was being sought.  The existing business had become unviable and the owner was looking for a way to dispose of the site.  He was a local man not a developer and he did not have a lot of money. 


He felt the site was suitable for development and could provide much needed affordable or shared ownership housing.  The acoustic fencing could be conditioned and careful landscaping and orientation of the houses could improve amenity.


Members generally felt that this was not a suitable site for residential development.  The adjacent site employed around 600 local people and it was considered that approving housing on the site might lead to conflict between the two uses in the future. 


RESOLVED to refuse the application due to insufficient information on noise, and to suggest that industrial use might be more suitable on the site.



Carbrooke: Proposed Nursing Care Home: Former RAF Watton Technical Site: 3PL/2008/0304/D (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was withdrawn (see Minute No 71/08 above).



North Tuddenham: Proposed 40 bed nursing home: Adjacent The Lodge, Main Road: Application Reference 3PL/2008/0321/F (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.




The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) introduced this full application for a 40 bed nursing home.  A previous application for a 62 bed home had previously been refused by Committee.  In this revised application the reasons for the previous refusal had been addressed.


The applicant had stated that the residents would be elderly and mentally infirm and that the peaceful, rural location would be suitable for them.  A Green Travel Plan was included with the application which proposed to provide a mini-bus service to take staff to and from the site, thus reducing the number of vehicle movements.


As to the impact on the countryside, it was pointed out that a previous permission for a hotel/motel would have exactly the same impact.  Additional landscaping was proposed and the building had been designed to provide screening to minimise noise problems.


To address drainage concerns a private treatment plant was also proposed which would discharge ‘clean’ water to reed beds and a water feature within the grounds.


Highways had raised concerns re visibility and more details had been provided which seemed to achieve the required standard of visibility splays.


There was scant evidence from Norfolk County Council about the need for this type of facility.  It was suggested that the Dereham area was reasonably well provided for but a significant increase in elderly people requiring care was expected.


Finally he mentioned that the Ward Member, Mr Rose had written with his concerns about the position of the site, outside an allocated area and adjacent to a public house, farm and kennels.  He was concerned about the scale of the proposal, the fact that it was only accessible by car and he questioned its sustainability.


The issues were finely balanced but after weighing up the arguments for and against, officers were recommending approval.


Mr Sharpe (Agent) was present to answer any questions.


Mr Wingate (representing the adjacent farmer) told Members that the scheme was unacceptable in principle and detail.  His client was concerned about the possible effect of the development on his well and bore hole. He was also concerned that the noise and smells from his farm would be unpleasant for residents.  Finally he was concerned that the proposal was unsustainable as the only means of transport for visitors was by car.


Mr Stapleton (representing North Tuddenham Parish Council) was also against the proposal.  He argued that the need for the home had not been proved.  There were concerns that the applicant intended to increase the facility to 80 beds if permission was granted.


Drainage was a problem and he asked about the possibility of medication from the home entering the water table.  He also felt that not enough parking spaces were provided for the size of the home, which he considered too big for its rural location.


Mr Claussen (Ward Representative) told Members that he had been to two public meetings attended by over 100 local people concerned about this proposal.  He mentioned that the previous application had been refused on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


Swaffham: Residential Development: Castle Acre Road: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0345/F (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


Cllr Bowes declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item and left the room while it was being discussed.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) introduced this full application for 51 dwellings located in a mixed commercial and residential area of Swaffham.


The proposal was considered to be a well designed scheme which would enhance the area and make use of an existing brownfield site within the settlement boundary.  The layout gave potential for future development on adjacent land, not currently in the ownership of the applicant.  A draft 106 agreement accompanied the application in respect of 30% affordable housing, contributions to education, library and recreation provision and a contribution to Norfolk County Council for transport (details waiting to be confirmed).


Anglian Water Services had commented in relation to drainage problems in the area and stated that these were caused by operational issues.  They had confirmed that the existing system was adequate to deal with the proposed new development.


Mr Butters (speaking on behalf of the Town Council) showed photographs of flooding taken near the site last year.  He was concerned that flooding occurred regularly and could only be exacerbated by additional development.  He reminded Members that a large care home had been approved in the area recently.


Mr Bird (speaking for the applicant) explained to Members that considerable discussion and consultation had taken place.  Residents had been approached individually and their concerns addressed.  Highway objections had been overcome.


Foul and surface water issues had been thoroughly investigated and a Flood Risk Assessment had been submitted and the Environment Agency had no objection to the scheme.  He considered that drainage problems in the area were due to the failure of the existing soakaways on site and that the new proposal would improve the situation.


A Member asked about site levels and it was pointed out that as the front half of the site sloped away from the highway, it was proposed to level this area.


Another Member asked if the 30% affordable housing this scheme included was acceptable now that the threshold had been raised to 35%.  It was felt that it would be unfair to enforce the new threshold on an application that had been through weeks of negotiation and was approaching its conclusion.


The question of who would be responsible for maintaining the public open space was asked and it was confirmed that this would form part of the legal agreement, although it was likely that it would be adopted by the Council.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) asked Members to confirm that if agreement was not reached within 13 weeks, authority be given to refuse the application.


RESOLVED to approve the application subject to conditions and a S106 agreement and that if the legal agreement was not signed within the 13 week target period, the Development Services Manager had delegated authority to refuse the application.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 25 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Henstead Hall Estate Ltd




Henstead Hall Estates Ltd




Mr T Wicks




Ralph Firman




Abbey Engineering




Zest Partnership




Express Care (Guest Services)

North Tuddenham



Abel Homes Ltd




R W Duffield Limited

Swanton Morley



Miss K Taylor




Mr Colin Smith




The Kilverstone 1989 Settlement




The Kilverstone 1989 Settlement




The Blakeney Park Settlement




Mr Hannant




Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1:  3PL/2008/0026/F: Thetford: The Former Burrell House, Minstergate:  Proposed residential conversion consisting of 6 No apartments and 4 No townhouses for Henstead Hall Estates Ltd


This full application and the listed building application at Item 2 for the same site were presented to Members jointly.


This listed building was on the Buildings at Risk Register.


Members were shown photographs of this former factory, now part boarded up and with structural defects and elevations of the proposed conversion.  Windows at the front of the building would be retained.


The Town Council had no objections although they would prefer 10 parking spaces to be provided in place of the nine proposed.


The site was inside the Settlement Boundary and in the Conservation Area.  The principle of conversion was considered acceptable and the applications were recommended for approval.


Mr King (representing the applicant) was available to answer questions.


The Chairman asked why the windows at the rear of the building were not being retained as she considered they were inherently associated with a factory building and without them the integrity of the building would be lost.


The Historic Buildings Officer explained that the building had been listed in 1971 and put on the At Risk Register in the early 80s.  There had been many schemes proposed for this building over the past 20 years and none had come to fruition.  During that time it had been vandalised and set on fire.  The fabric of the building had decayed.  It was no longer structurally sound.


If the windows could be removed and re-used, possibly as partitions within the building, their context would be retained.  However, he considered that a balance had to be struck between retaining parts of the building and meeting modern day building regulation requirements. He thought that this was possibly the last opportunity for this building to be retained and re-used. 


Mr King confirmed that as the rear boundary was close to Nicholas House, Building Regulations restricted the permitted window area.  He did agree that the frames would be re-used within the building if possible.


A Member asked about outside space for the four townhouses and it was confirmed that there was almost none.


Another Member queried the safety of the retained front windows, being right on the street and asked if they could be protected from vandalism.  However they were made from cast iron and had small panes of glass which made them relatively strong.


Both applications were approved as recommended.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/0027/LB: Thetford: The Former Burrell House, Minstergate:  Proposed residential conversion consisting of 6 No apartments and 4 No townhouses for Henstead Hall Estates Ltd


Approved, see Minute No 78/08 (a) above.


(c)        Item 3:  3PL/2008/0114/O: Necton: Site Adjacent 18 Mill Street: Site for residential development for Mr T Wicks


This outline application for residential development, with only access to be considered, was the resubmission of a previous application refused on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.


Enforcement Items (For Information) pdf icon PDF 62 KB


This item was noted.



Appeal Decisions (For Information)

APP/F2605/A/08/2063639:  North Pickenham:  13 Latimer Way:  Appeal against refusal to grant outline planning permission for Mr L Lewis:  Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1592/O

Decision:  Appeal dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/07/2061421:  Watton:  2 West Road:  Appeal against refusal to grant outline planning permission for Mr and Mrs T Everett:  Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1091/O

Decision:  Appeal allowed subject to conditions.


APP/F2605/A/07/2054822: Carbrooke:  Land adjacent to The Old Stores, Broadmoor Road:  Appeal against refusal to grant outline planning permission for Mr S Hayes:  Application Reference: 3PL/2007/0797/O

Decision:  Appeal dismissed.


This item was noted.



Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (For Information) pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Applications Determined by Norfolk County Council (For Information)

3CM/2008/0004/F: Thetford: 19 & 19A Burrell Way: Use of portakabin building for office for Bulk Expess Ltd (formerly Greener Recycling Ltd).

Decision: Conditional Approval.


3CM/2008/005/F: Attleborough: Attleborough Day Services, Station Road: Temporary change of use, to include use as office base and extension of car parking area for Adult Social Services.

Decision: Conditional Approval.


3CM/2008/0008/F: Thetford: Charles Burrell High School, Stainforth Road: To provide mobile unit to facilitate a building project at school for temp. period for Childrens Services Department.

Decision: Withdrawn.


This item was noted.



North Lopham: Meadow Farm pdf icon PDF 46 KB

North Lopham: Meadow Farm Barn, Tanns Lane, The Street: Proposal: Renovation and extension of ancillary building to become two bedroom dwelling, involving Change Of Use: Applicant Dam Green Services Ltd:  Reference: 3PL/2008/0481/F; and

North Lopham: Meadow Farm House, The Street:  Proposal:  Proposed replacement dwelling:  Applicant:  Mr Mark Porter, Dam Green Services Ltd:  Reference:  3PL/2008/0484/F



The Principal Planning Officer told Members that this item was brought to their attention prior to the two applications coming before the next Development Control Committee as the Ward Representative had suggested that a site visit be made.


The Chairman offered Members the option of a site visit or of an officer visiting site with the video camera.  She pointed out that if the latter were chosen it would have the advantage that all Committee Members at the next meeting would see the video of the site, whereas if a site visit was arranged, some Members might not be able to attend.


RESOLVED that an officer would film the site with the video camera to present to Members at the next Committee meeting and that the Ward Representative would be informed and invited to accompany the officer if they so wished.