Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2008.


The minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 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 P Francis.



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 interest at the time the applications were made:


Mr N Wilkin declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Schedule Item 6 (Thetford) by virtue of having financial business connections with the applicant.


Mr M Kiddle-Morris declared a personal interest in Schedule Item 7 (Attleborough) by virtue of knowing the architect.



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.


There were no requests for deferral.



Urgent Business (Agenda Item 6)

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.


There was no urgent business.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update.


The Environmental Planning Manager told Members that the Site Specifics consultation was now half way through and would close on 26 September 2008.  The final meeting with Parish Councils would take place that evening at Shipdham.  So far 75 additional sites had been submitted for consideration.


Focus would now turn to the Core Strategy which would be submitted later in the year.  Issues would be discussed at Panel 1 meetings on 20 August and 23 September 2008.


The Thetford Area Action Plan consultation had finished and currently approximately one thousand comments were being analysed.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mrs Laura Handford




Serruys Property Co Ltd




W O & P O Jolly




Ian Monson




Ministry of Defence




Mr S Basey-Fisher




Mr D Ozcan




Miss A Bustard




Mr Brian Self




Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: 3PL/2008/0214/F: Ashill: Goose Green: Seven residential units in 3 blocks with associated access and car parking for Mrs Laura Handford


Deferred - See Minute No 134/08.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/0607/F: Watton: Plaswood Site, Griston Road: Demolish existing industrial units and erection of 24 No residential dwellings and garages for plots 1, 2 and 4 for Serruys Property Co Ltd


The Principal Planning Officer introduced this full application for residential development.


Plans and photographs were shown illustrating the relationship of the site with adjacent premises which included the Norfolk Meadows development of the former Easco Site which was nearing completion, the Weco Engineering plant and a small motorcycle workshop.


The layout proposed two internal footway links to the Norfolk Meadows development.  There were no amenity issues caused by the layout.  The affordable housing requirement would be met off-site and a financial contribution for this, library, walking/cycling and education would be covered by a legal agreement. 


No site frontage footway link was required by Highways.  This had been conditioned previously as part of the Norfolk Meadows development, but had subsequently been varied as not enough land had been within Highway ownership.  Instead the footway to the northern side of the carriageway had been widened.


The main issue to be considered was noise.  The engineering plant operated with open doors and the work involved processes such as welding and grinding and noise could also be expected from the motorcycle workshop.


A two and a half metre acoustic fence was proposed along the western site boundary to mitigate the potential noise problem and the internal layout of the dwellings closest to the plant had been amended to leave only bathrooms and landings to the rear elevation at first floor.  An acoustic report submitted with the application suggested that noise levels were acceptable with doors and windows closed.


The Council’s Environmental Health Officer was asked to clarify her comments.  She told Members that she had looked carefully at the noise assessment report and was concerned that it did not take into account the sporadic nature of the engineering works which could exceed acceptable noise levels at times.  Also the proposed acoustic fencing would not protect residents from works carried out at height.  She explained that there were no planning controls on the engineering activity on the site and that her statutory powers to protect future residents from works taking place on an acknowledged industrial site were limited.  Future work practices could change and this could lead to a conflict of interests.  She concluded by saying that the acoustic report concerned noise levels with doors and windows closed and that at a recent appeal the Inspector had ruled that it was not acceptable for people to have to keep their doors and windows closed.


The Principal Planning Officer summed up by saying that it was regrettable as in all other respects this seemed a good scheme but on balance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 133.


Ashill: Goose Green: Seven residential units in 3 blocks with associated access and car parking for Peddars Way Housing Association: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0214/F (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer introduced this full application for seven affordable houses on a site to the rear of 1–7 Goose Green and the provision of formalised parking on The Green to the front of those properties.


The development would involve the removal of trees including a Black Poplar which had recently been served with a Tree Preservation Order.  The scheme was visually in keeping with the locality in terms of scale and would not cause any loss of amenity to existing occupants.  It was considered a good use of a brownfield site and would provide much needed affordable housing.  The formalised parking would overcome existing informal arrangements.  Although the loss of the protected tree was regrettable, on balance the benefits outweighed the loss.


Mr Nourse, the agent, said that the mix of two and three bedroom dwellings would meet a specific local need and would be built to Level 3 Code for sustainability.  Additional parking would be provided and four new trees would be planted in the formalised parking area on the green where they would be visible to more people.


Mrs Ball, Ward Representative, was concerned at the loss of the tree.  She said that as the land had come forward as a ‘windfall’ site the Housing Association could afford to lose one house to retain the tree.  She also asked if it could be specified that the housing was for local people.


A Member thought this was a terrific site for much needed affordable housing but felt that the design and layout could be improved.  He also asked if the formalised parking could be required to be completed before commencement on site.


The Solicitor said the Committee had to be satisfied that the applicant had sufficient control of the land to provide the parking and planting on the green.


The Chairman asked the Tree Preservation Order Review Officer if it was possible to develop the land and protect the tree.  He said that root protection could be placed under the tree.


One Member felt that the Black Poplar was too important to lose but another felt that it would be a shame to lose a house and asked if replacement Black Poplars could be planted elsewhere.  He also asked how to ensure that the houses were made available for local people.


Ms Handford representing Peddars Way Housing explained that all lettings were nominated by the Council and the Housing Enabling and Projects Officer confirmed that local people with the highest need would get these properties.


The Development Services Manager pointed out that the TPO was the subject of an appeal which would be heard on 11th September 2008.


RESOLVED to defer the application to await the outcome of the TPO appeal hearing.



Oxborough: Church Farm: Two Fishing lakes, 1 wildlife pond, car parking, vehicular access, paths and landscaping for Mr I Monson: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0722/F (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This full application proposed the creation of two fishing lakes and a wildlife pond on land previously under cultivation.  Spoil from the excavations would be spread on an adjacent field.  The new access and parking area (to be laid with reinforced grass) would be on one side of the river Gadder and a footpath would lead to a bridge over the river and around the lakes providing disabled access.  35 pegs were proposed in total.


A similar application had been withdrawn last year and this scheme overcame previous concerns.


A range of bodies had been consulted re ecology, biodiversity, protected species and breeding birds.  No objections had been received.


Letters of representation raised concerns in relation to the impact of the proposal and harm to wildlife and otters.


Mr Hill, speaking for the applicant, said that this proposal had been significantly modified to overcome previous concerns and extra supporting information had been supplied.  He confirmed that the site did not meet the requirements to be a County Wildlife Site.  The proposal would however improve the bio-diversity of the site, increase the total wet level habitat and provide aquatic habitat.  Approval would secure the future ecological management of the site.


A Member asked how otters would be kept out of the site and was told that the situation would be monitored and if otters were found to be present an electric fence would be used around the edge of the footpath.


Another Member asked how the lakes would be created if the land was dry and how the water would be retained.


The agent explained that the site was below the level of the river Gadder and once excavated would fill with water naturally.


RESOLVED to approve the application, subject to conditions.



Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Appeals Decisions (Agenda Item 13)

APP/F2605/E/08/2065780: Thompson: Redbrick Farmhouse, Tottington Road: Appeal against a refusal to grant listed building consent for the demolition of existing house for Mr E Raker: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/0995/LB

Decision: Appeal Allowed


APP/F2605/A/08/2065782: Thompson: Redbrick Farmhouse, Tottington Road: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for the erection of dwelling to replace Redbrick Farmhouse (existing house to be demolished) for Mr E Raker: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/0994/F

Decision: Appeal Allowed


APP/F2605/A/08/2071104: Little Ellingham: Land Adjoining “Hambledowns”, 5 The Green: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for a new dwelling with double garage (Plot 2) for Miss T Mays:  Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1796/F

Decision: Appeal Dismissed


APP/F2605/A/08/2071079: Bradenham: 15 Nelson Close: Appeal against a refusal to grant outline planning permission for the erection of a bungalow for Barnfree Property Developments Limited: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/2037/O

Decision: Appeal Dismissed


APP/F2605/A/08/2070682: Attleborough: “Heisker”, West Carr Road: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for the residential development of 9 dwellings including the demolition of an existing dwelling and garage for Bennett plc: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1095/F

Decision: Appeal Allowed


APP/F2605/A/08/2068137: Thetford: 3 Minstergate: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission to convert house to provide 2 no. one bed apartments and new build block to provide 11 no. one bed apartments for Henstead Hall Estates Ltd: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1668/F

Decision: Appeal Allowed


APP/F2605/A/08/2071438: Holme Hale: Plot 3, Church Farm, Church Road: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for a new house and garage for Ideal Developments (UK) Ltd: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1515/F

Decision: Appeal Dismissed.


The Development Services Manager told Members that there had been a lot of discussion between officers but they could not explain the increase in the number of appeals being lost.  It was felt that there had been a shift in the way that Inspectors were making their decisions. 


He would be having discussions with both Principal Planning Officers to try to address this problem.  It was apparent that some very small sites and other backland pieces of land were receiving permission.  It seemed likely that Inspectors had received strong guidance to approve housing. 


The intention was to give Members training on the appeals process and at the same time provide them with an analysis of this shift in decision making.


He referred to the Thompson appeal, the first in the list, and said there had been a lot of debate about whether the building was in the curtilage of a Listed Building.  It had been thought that the Inspector might not agree with this assessment.  However, the Inspector had agreed and yet he had still allowed the replacement dwelling, which seemed like a compromise decision.


This and other issues would be discussed at the training session.


This item was noted.



Applications determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 14)

3CM/2008/00014/F: Thetford: Thetford Recycling Centre, 19 and 19a Burrell Way: Variation of condition to allow importation of inert and plastic wastes, manual sorting and revised layout for Waste Recycling Group.

Decision: Conditional Approval.


This item was noted.