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 101 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 2008.


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 October 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 Mrs M Chapman-Allen and 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 R Kemp declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 9 (Harling) by virtue of having an interest in land in Harling.


Councillor Bowes declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 12 (Watton) by virtue of her family having dealings with Tesco but not with this particular store.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update.


The Environmental Planning Manager told Members that the Core Strategy Submission document would be discussed at a Special meeting of Full Council on 20 November 2008.  There would be a full report on the results of all the supporting evidence and the finished Appropriate Assessment Impact on Designated European Wildlife Sites.


The Site Specifics consultation had concluded at the end of September.  The 150 extra sites put forward would go to Panel in December and then out for consultation in the new year.


The Thetford Area Action Plan was at the Preferred Options second stage draft at the moment and would be reported to Panel 1 Members in December and Cabinet in January 2009.



3PL/2008/1083/F: Attleborough: Land off Bryony Way/Carvers Lane: Residential Development for Norfolk Homes Ltd (Agenda Item 8a) pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Deferred Item Report.

Additional documents:


This application had been deferred to allow the District Valuer to comment on the applicants’ assessment that the site was unviable if a 30% affordable housing contribution was required.  He had confirmed their figures.


The site was the last piece of land allocated for residential development in this area and the proposal was for a range of house types in fairly traditional designs which linked well with existing development.  The layout had been planned to avoid significant overlooking.


An area of Open Space would be provided, but as this fell short of the requirement a financial contribution would also be made.


NCC Highways had asked for a contribution to walking and cycling.  As the applicants were providing traffic calming on the approach road this was not considered necessary.  A previous request for an education contribution had since been withdrawn.


If permission was granted without the requirement to provide affordable housing, the legal agreement would be ‘future proofed’ to protect the Council against changes in market conditions.  Two further assessments would be required, one half way through and the other at the end of development.  Both would be assessed by the District Valuer and once a certain threshold was reached a financial contribution would be required – up to a maximum of £130,000 (an amendment to the reported figure).


Some Members were concerned about the loss of affordable housing, just when it was most needed.  One asked if it was the end of affordable housing altogether. 


The Development Services Manager did not think so and felt that circumstances would change in time.  He told Members that currently courts were saying that viability must be taken into consideration.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers be authorised to issue an approval, subject to conditions, on the completion of the section 106 agreement.



3PL/2008/0579/F: Harling Lopham Road: Proposed residential development for Mr A Taylor & Mr D Taylor (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.

Additional documents:


Mr Kemp declared a personal and prejudicial interest by virtue of having an interest in land in the area and left the room whilst it was discussed.


The application had been deferred for comments from the Parish Council, following the receipt of additional information, leading to a change in recommendation.  The Parish Council had no objection.


Amendments had also been received, to address the concerns of a neighbour.  These involved moving Plot 7 to avoid an area of land under disputed ownership and repositioning a window to avoid overlooking.


Members were reminded of the Council’s shortfall in housing land and the policy requirement to consider favourably, sites outside the settlement boundary that met certain criteria.  This site performed well, being on the edge of a service centre, on a brownfield site and providing a good mix of houses, including three affordable units.


Deliverability was the key issue and the applicant had confirmed that a local builder was available to undertake the development and a Registered Social Landlord was keen to take transfer of the affordable units.  It was considered that an exception to policy was justified in this case.  It was recommended for approval subject to conditions (including a reduction in the time limit to 18 months), a legal agreement re affordable housing and a financial contribution to highway improvements.


Mr Burton, objector, said he had a Right of Way between the units and properties to be built and he did not consider enough space had been provided.  He felt the development had been crammed in and said there was more room in the field behind.


The Solicitor reminded Members that questions about access rights could not be dealt with by Committee.


Mr Taylor, Applicant, said they had received over 100 letters of support from local residents and had the support of the Parish Council.  The proposal was fully compliant with policy.  The legal agreement was in place as was a £2,500 contribution for a pedestrian crossing.


Lady Fisher, Ward Representative, said that if approved this would be ground breaking, in advance of the LDF and set a precedent.  Good work had been done on the legal agreement and affordable houses were exactly what was needed.  She felt the employment area needed security lighting, but supported the application.


A Member noted that the proposal was to build the houses to Code Levels 3 and 4 and asked if the whole development could be to the higher level.  The Agent confirmed that this could be achieved.


Another Member was concerned about pre-empting the LDF.  He said there were many locations put forward for inclusion in Harling and if only 50 new houses were allowed this would be quite a proportion of that allocation.


The Development Services Manager agreed this was a key issue but because of the Council’s shortage in housing land PPS3 made clear that sites like this, that pass the tests, must be considered favourably.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject  ...  view the full minutes text for item 188.


3PL/2008/0619/F: Thetford: Kilverstone Lane: Residential development for The Kilverstone Estate (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This renewal application for 12 new dwellings on a site containing two cottages to be retained was designed to match the existing and the new development would be built to Code Level 3 standard.


The new access required the felling of two preserved trees.  These would be replaced on a two for one basis.  A footpath link would be provided along the site frontage.  Access and parking plans had been approved by the Highways Authority who had also requested the hard surfacing of Green Lane.  This had been refused by the applicants and the officers felt that the change would have had a negative effect on the character of the area.


Amendments had been made to address police concerns and to improve views into the parking areas.


RESOLVED to approve the application, subject to conditions.



3PL/2008/1185/F and 3PL/2008/1186/CA: Thetford: Former Thetford Cottage Hospital, Earls Street: Residential development for Norfolk Primary Care Trust (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This was a full application for 14 dwellings and Conservation Area Consent to demolish the former Thetford Cottage Hospital. 


Most of this centrally located site was occupied by existing buildings. The brick and flint boundary wall and protected Lime tree were to be retained


The application would provide high density development to Code Level 3, achieving 10% on-site renewables.  Layout minimised effect on neighbouring properties; design and detailing reflected the character of this part of the town.


Loss of the main building had raised local concern and suggestions that it should be retained for public use; it had been offered for sale and no interest shown by any community group.  Architecturally it was not particularly remarkable having had significant alterations. 


The plans had been amended to increase the amount of on-site parking to 21 spaces which was considered adequate in this town centre location.


Mr Chambers, representing the Town Council, said they did not accept the case for demolition.  The building had been paid for by voluntary public subscription and was a local landmark.  He said that NHS Norfolk should continue to investigate uses for the building.


Mr Curtis, speaking on behalf of Mr Mossop, owner of the adjacent Snooker Hall, said that the proximity of Plot 1 to the Snooker Hall entrance would lead to constant disturbance to the occupier.  The business had been successfully run for 23 years and the owner was concerned this would lead to problems.


Mr Wilson, representing the Thetford Society, opposed the demolition of this distinctive Victorian building.  It had been gifted to the town and run on public donations for the first 50 years.  Too many buildings of character had been lost.  The Thetford Society felt Norfolk PCT should consider the wishes of the residents and use the building to serve the community again.


Mr Clarke, Agent, said the Cottage Hospital no longer met the needs of the PCT.  It had been put on the market, but would not sell.  Due to additions and alterations it did not add value to the street scene.


A Member spoke of the need to retain buildings that gave a sense of place.  It could be converted to flats and retained.


A local Member said that there had been a bid to convert the property to a dental practice.  He pleaded with the Committee to refuse the application so alternatives could be explored.


RESOLVED to refuse both applications, contrary to recommendation, as the building was an integral part of the street scene and formed an important part of the character of the area.



3PL/2008/1204/F: Watton: Thetford Road: Proposed extension to Tesco Store for Tesco Stores Ltd (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


Councillor Bowes declared a personal interest in this item as her family has dealings with Tesco’s but not with this store in particular.


This proposal was for extensions to the side and rear providing additional retail space, increased storage/warehouse and service area.  An existing building would be demolished to provide new car parking.


The store was quite small and local people currently travelled to Thetford and Dereham for their weekly shopping.  The extension would allow a larger range of convenience goods to provide for the town’s needs.


There were a number of residential properties adjacent to the site and concerns and objections had been raised.  Amendments had been made to address these concerns. 


There was currently no restriction on opening hours and it was not proposed to increase these.  Delivery hours had been agreed.


Due to police concerns it was proposed to fence the dwelling side edge of the footpath and only have low railings on the car park edge.  A barrier would be placed to stop unauthorised use of the car park out of hours and CCTV was also proposed.


Mrs Green, objector, lived adjacent to the site and was concerned about the presence of asbestos and Japanese knotweed.  She was already affected by noise and was concerned that this, fumes and water run-off would increase.


A Member requested that there be no new signage along the new car park frontage and that lighting should be reduced after closing hours.  There was a condition on lighting with details to be approved.  Officers would investigate the possibility of reductions in lighting.


A Member asked about the extra surface water and was concerned about the objector’s problem with water pooling behind her house.  Mr Peckett, Agent, confirmed there had been a full Flood Risk Assessment and said they would be happy to comply with conditions.


It was hoped that the Section 106 agreement could be completed within the 13 week period.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers be authorised to grant approval subject to conditions on completion of the S106 agreement.



3PL/2008/1211/F: Bylaugh: Land off B1147, Bylaugh Park: Proposed camping/caravanning park for Mr A Medler (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This application site formed a small part of a large field bordered on three sides by trees.  Landscaping would be introduced to the open boundary.  A new access off the B1147 would be made through the existing estate boundary wall.  Highways had confirmed that the necessary visibility splays could be achieved.  The wall would be reinstated on the back edge of the splay.  Some trees would be lost.


Mr Mallen, Bylaugh Parish Chairman, noted that an application nearby for a single dwelling and garage had been refused on grounds including highway safety and detriment to character and visual amenity.  The road had not changed; this application would create more vehicle movements; have a much greater impact and cause noise and nuisance.


Mr Sewell, representing David Gurney & Bawdeswell Estate (adjacent landowners) was concerned about the affect on the visual character of the area and raised concerns about potential trespass and loss of security.  Part of the estate was used as a shoot and this could lead to an accident.


Mr Bambridge, Ward Representative, was disappointed the Highways Officer was not present to answer questions.  He wanted assurance that the business case for this project was proven and that visitors would be prevented from intruding into private land and gardens.  He objected on environmental grounds, need, pollution (noise, light, sewage, etc), traffic safety and the effect on the rural character and secluded nature of this village. 


RESOLVED to defer this application for a site visit accompanied by the Highways representative.


The Solicitor said that the Highways Officer would only point things out at the site visit and should be invited to the next meeting to answer questions.



3PL/2008/1304/O: Beetley: The Paddocks, School Road: Six new semi detached bungalows with garages for elderly gypsies for Miss S Macann (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This outline application proposed permanent accommodation for gypsies aged over 55 in place of the existing transit site.


Letters and a petition had been received in support of the application.  The Ward Representative also supported the application.


Policies in the Regional Spatial Strategy identified a need for more pitches; approval would lead to the loss of a transit facility. 


As the proposal related to permanent housing justification of the need was required.  The applicant had put forward a general case and provided a list of six family groups who would like to occupy the units, but with no specific details of need.


The Council’s Strategic Housing Team objected to the scheme.  The Norfolk Gypsy and Traveller Assessment had failed to identify any need for sheltered accommodation in the district.  There was also concern about how the development could be delivered and held in perpetuity for the over 55’s.


Mr Hayes, Parish Council, objected to development outside the Settlement Boundary and with no evidence of need.  The site was designated as non-conforming and there were poor facilities in the village.


Mr Meiklejohn, for the applicant, said the proposal could be viewed as a traveller site which would make it neutral in pitch numbers.  Travellers’ need for accommodation was self evident and increased with age which led to difficulties living in caravans.  The site was suitable; would provide housing in a group scheme giving residents peer support.  This was a unique proposal giving the Council the opportunity to take the lead in providing facilities.


One Member spoke in strong support.  There had never been any problems from the site and all travellers should be able to settle down if they wanted to.


Another Member said that the Local Plan had been produced using evidence and that the survey suggested that the right accommodation was being provided on that site.  If it was used for permanent dwellings another transit site would have to be found elsewhere.


The Council’s Principal Housing Officer said the survey had been carried out in partnership with other agencies.  More temporary and permanent sites were needed.  If Gypsy families wished to settle in permanent accommodation they would be assessed in exactly the same way as anyone else with a housing need. 


Discussion followed on the suitability of the site to accommodate the elderly as it was not near to health facilities or local services, although it was acknowledged that occupants would have the support of other travellers.


RESOLVED to refuse the application as recommended.



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 15) pdf icon PDF 321 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr A Taylor & Mr D Taylor




The Kilverstone Estate




THPD Properties




Telefonica O2 UK Ltd




Norfolk NHS Primary Care Trust




Norfolk NHS Primary Care Trust




Tesco Stores Ltd




Mr Andreas Medler




Mrs D Smith




Iceni Developments




Miss S Macann




Mr Ivan Chubbock




Mr B Tullis




Mr Stephen Walmsley

Gt Ellingham




RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: 3PL/2008/0579/F: Harling: Land east of Lopham Road: Demolition of redundant industrial buildings and erection of 10 No houses (revised layout) for Mr A Taylor and Mr D Taylor


Approved, as recommended.  See Minute No 188/08.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/0619/F: Thetford: Green Lane Cottages, Kilverstone Road: Construction of 12 dwellings with new access (renewal) for The Kilverstone Estate


Approved, as recommended.  See Minute No 189/08.


(c)        Item 3: 3PL/2008/1147/F: Yaxham: Breckland Garden Centre, Dereham Road: 25 holiday lodges, area for touring caravans and camping, change of use of dwelling, conversion of shop and change of use of café for THPD Properties


Members had previously carried out a site visit. 


A previous application for 50 lodges had been refused; the new proposal reduced this number and introduced a mix of accommodation.


The layout of the development was explained and the position of existing buildings and ponds on site pointed out.  Fencing was proposed along the boundary with the railway line for safety.


Petitions for and against, together with letters of support and objection had been received to the proposal.


Government guidance advised Authorities to support self-catering accommodation, in sustainable locations, subject to criteria.


The applicants stated there was a need for this kind of accommodation to give people a base to explore the district.  The development would contribute to the local economy.  The site was within 150 metres of a bus stop, had a footway link to the village and cycle hire would be promoted from the shop on site.


The application was recommended for approval, subject to conditions, including those set out in the Good Practice Guide concerning occupation duration and ownership checks.


Mr Crummett, Parish Council, said they could not support new homes outside the Settlement Boundary with no proven need; it would be an unwarranted intrusion on the rural landscape.  He was concerned about light and noise pollution; drainage contamination and that the previous reasons for refusal had not been overcome.


Mr Smith, objector, representing local residents, said an independent report said traffic movements would be four times greater than stated in the application; nothing had changed since the last application and why had the Planning Policy Team not been consulted.


Mr Anema, objector, farmed adjacent land and belonged to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.  He was concerned about the impact on agricultural land if sewage and chemicals entered the River Tudd which provided the only drinking water for his cattle.  If pollution occurred it would affect grazing and the status of the land.


Mr Salter, supporter, had been a resident of Yaxham since 1965 and said tourism was of great importance and would benefit the district.


Mr Myhill, supporter, said that most people had been against the previous application but this time more detailed plans had been provided and indicated employment opportunities for local people.  There were three caravan rallies held each year which caused no traffic or pollution problems;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 194.


Changes to General Development Order (Permitted Development) (Agenda Item 16) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


The Principal Planning Officer gave Members a brief presentation on the changes to Permitted Development Rights from 1st October 2008.


·                    The changes had made it a little easier to answer the question “Do I need planning permission” but had also introduced other forms of development – hard surfacing and windows.


·                    Calculations were largely no longer volume based; assessment was on visual impact and how the proposal would appear; proportions and impact on neighbours were also considered.  New controls on height and first floor windows (previously permitted development) had been introduced.


·                    Extensions were generally determined by their position on the building.  People would still be advised to ask if they needed permission. The Planning Portal did have an interactive house which could give simplistic answers, but other criteria had to be considered (such as whether permitted development rights had been previously restricted).


·                    Under the new rules reference was made to the principal and rear elevations of a dwelling for the first time.


·                    There was little change to Conservation Area Consent.


·                    First floor side facing windows did not need planning permission if they were fixed and had obscured glazing.


·                    Hard surfacing within front gardens was limited to five square metres – more if it could be demonstrated that water run-off would not create problems (by the use of permeable surfaces).


·                    Verandahs, balconies and raised platforms (including decking) had caused problems in the past.  Now they required planning permission if they were above 300mm.


·                    Outbuildings – if less than four metres to a ridged roof and three metres to any other sort of roof, they did not require planning permission and could cover up to 50% of the residential curtilage.  However one change meant that any buildings over two and a half metres in height and within two metres of a boundary would require planning permission.


·                    The old ‘within five metres of the dwelling’ rule no longer applied.  (Previously any development within five metres of the dwelling had counted as an extension).


·                    Materials – now similar materials were acceptable otherwise planning permission was required.  This raised the problem of deciding what were similar materials – especially in the case of car ports.


The new guidelines had not simplified the process and ultimately clarification would be provided by the courts.  The Department of Communities and Local Government had no plans to issue any further guidance.


It was felt that the Government’s aim to free up resources had not been successful and that this would not lead to a reduction in applications.


Advice to householders would still be to write in if they had any doubts about whether they needed permission or not.



Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (Agenda Item 15) pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



APP/F2605/A/08/2073714: Caston: The White House, The Street: Appeal against a refusal to grant outline planning permission for the demolition of existing dwelling and replacement with 6 private and 2 affordable dwellings for Anne Bustard: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0363/O

Decision: Appeal Dismissed


APP/F2605/A/08/2074000: Hilborough: 33 Westgate Street: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission to convert an existing triple garage to a dwelling and to extend it to provide kitchen, hall and bedroom for Mr and Mrs Silvester: Application Reference: 3PL/2007/1490/F

Decision: Appeal Dismissed


This item was noted.