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 77 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2009.


The minutes of the meeting held on 26 January 2009 were agreed 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 A Byrne, Mrs M Chapman-Allen, Mrs S Miller and Mr M Spencer.



Declaration of Interest

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 discussed.


Councillor Bowes declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 8b (Brettenham) by virtue of her family having business connections with the tenant farmer of the site and in Schedule Items 4 and 5 (Weeting) as she served on two fundraising committees with the applicant.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman told Members that this was Andrea Long’s last Development Control Committee before she left to join another Authority.


There were still places available for the Overview and Scrutiny training taking place on Monday 23 February 2009 at Thetford.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


Consultation on the Core Strategy would end at 5pm.  Representations would be assessed and those containing comment or content would be passed to the Inspector.  The public examination would commence the first week of July 2009.


Consultation on the additional sites put forward under the Site Specifics element commenced today and would run until 31 March 2009.  Only the additional sites were being looked at and not all parishes had an additional site.


Consultation on the Thetford Area Action Plan Preferred Options would commence on 23 February 2009.



THETFORD: FORMER SULTANS SITE, LONDON ROAD: Erection of non-food retail warehouse (A1) & external garden centre, associated access, servicing, car park, landscaping for Location 3 Properties Ltd and Sultans: Reference: 3PL/2008/1497/F (Agenda Item 8a) pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.

Additional documents:


This item had been on the agenda for the 5 January 2009 meeting but had been deferred before consideration to allow for negotiation on tree matters.


The application was for a retail unit for Wicks DIY.  The site, which had been vacant for a number of years, was in a predominantly commercial area and had previously been occupied by a factory which had burnt down.


A new access was to be created in a gap in the trees along the site frontage.  The position of this access had been amended to overcome objections, from the Council’s Tree and Countryside Officer, to the removal of some of the contorted Scots Pine trees.  These trees had since been covered by a TPO to safeguard their future.  The amended position of the access meant that none of those trees would be lost and the Officer had withdrawn his objection.


The Highways Authority had agreed to this new access.


The building was of modern design incorporating a variety of materials including metal cladding and buff brickwork with full height glazing to the lobby entrance.  It related well to the form and scale of other buildings in the area.


The proposal performed well against PPS6 tests for out of town proposals.  These included:


Need: Evidence was provided by the applicant and the Council’s own Retail Study which had identified a shortfall of 5,900 square metres of retail floorspace.  This proposal would provide less than half of that.

Sequential Test:  There were no other sites available in the Town Centre.  Tthere was room on the Forest Retail Site (which was further out of town but already in existence) but this had a covenant to prevent further DIY stores.

Impact on Town Centre:  As Wicks concentrated on building materials for which there was little provision already, there would be no negative impact.


In summary the proposal met all tests; retained important trees; would provide improvements to the pedestrian crossing point; would provide 10% on-site renewable energy and/or energy saving measures; would create up to 40 jobs; and the legal agreement would include financial contributions to bus stops and the travel plan.  It was recommended for approval.


Mr Rainbird (Agent) and Mr Gibbons (Applicant) were present to answer questions.


A Member asked if the spaces allocated for cars with trailers could be moved for ease of access and this was agreed.  It was also confirmed that there was provision for outside storage.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the section 106 agreement relating to a travel plan.



Brettenham: Home Farm, Shadwell: Change of Use from agriculture fields to equine use incorporating an all weather gallop and two stables consisting of six boxes each for Mr Philip Hodson: Reference: 3PL/2008/1419/F (Agenda Item 8b) pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.

Additional documents:


Councillor Bowes declared a personal interest in this item.


This application had been deferred from the previous meeting to seek clarification of the use of the land within the gallops.


Members were shown a map and photographs of the site which was outside the proposed buffer zone for Stone Curlews and adjacent to a County Wildlife Site.


The application for two, all-weather gallops which could be linked to make one extended track for equine endurance training included two blocks of stables to be sited close to existing buildings to minimise their impact on the countryside.  The stables and grazing would be used for isolation purposes.


The inner edge of the gallops would be fenced with post and rails and the outer edge with post and wire, leaving a wildlife habitat zone beyond.


It was confirmed that the area within the gallops would be used for grazing by the horses when they were on-site and by sheep when the horses were away.


Two main issues to be considered were the impact on birds and the impact on the character of the countryside.


No objection had been received from the RSPB or Natural England and Officers considered that there would be a negligible effect on the character of the area.  The application was recommended for approval.


Mr Poulter, representing Brettenham and Kilverstone Parish Council, said the application was contrary to Policy; would result in the loss of high grade agricultural land; and was not in the best interests of the local community.


Mr Wright, objector, had been the tenant farmer since 1970.  He objected to the loss of agricultural land and the effect on bio-diversity.  It was not necessary for such a large piece of land to be lost and most could still be used for agriculture.  There were already isolation boxes on the farm and no more were needed and the proposal did nothing for local employment.


Mr Warth, Agent, mentioned that compensation would be payable to the tenant.  He reiterated that the change of use would have no impact on Stone Curlews and would significantly increase employment and provide many benefits.


The views of the Ward Representative, Lady Fisher, were read out as she was unable to be in attendance.  She objected to the minimisation and fragmentation of habitats and was concerned about the effect on employment.  The proposal would compromise local food production; lead to building in the countryside; and be detrimental in terms of travel impact.


A local Member was concerned that no attempt had been made to mitigate the effects on the farmer.  He also questioned the isolation blocks which were too close to existing buildings to fulfil that criteria.  He said there were other available places more suitable for the purpose.


The Principal Planning Officer clarified that the Council’s records showed the land as grade 3 and 4.  Normally only grades 1 and 2 would be considered for protection.


On a vote, the recommendation of approval was not agreed, and Members discussed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.



Report of the Development Services Manager.


This was the re-submission of an application previously refused by Committee in October 2008, because of the proposed removal of a protected tree.  Since that time the Preservation Order had been revoked and the tree removed. 


The application was unchanged and proposed seven affordable houses on a site within the Settlement Boundary, in a courtyard style development.  The site was to the rear of, and accessed between, existing dwellings.  Only bathroom windows would overlook and these would have obscure glazing.  A condition would restrict any additional windows.


A legal agreement would secure two affordable units in perpetuity.  Six parking spaces would also be provided off-site, on the edge of the Green, to regularise illegal parking which currently took place.


Mr Mace, objector, lived at No 5, adjacent the access.  He was concerned that this was too narrow and would be difficult for emergency vehicles to use.  He was worried about danger to children from the additional traffic created; the lack of pavements; insufficient parking provision; and the fact that arsenic had been found on the site.


The Principal Planning Officer clarified that there would be 17 parking spaces provided within the site and six on the Green, which was ample provision.  The Contaminated Land Officer had no objection to the proposal, but a full site study would be conditioned.


Miss Handford, applicant, said that a funding allocation was available and they were ready to issue tender documents to five local contractors.  Any contract would require consideration for existing residents.  As well as providing parking spaces on the Green wooden bollards would be positioned to stop illegal parking.


Mr Wells, Agent, said that engineers had carried out site surveys and confirmed that on-site drainage could be accommodated.  Foul water drainage would go to Anglian Water.


Mrs Ball, Ward Representative, did not think that the parking spaces on the Green were shown as agreed.  She also said there was an awful problem with foul water in Ashill.  She asked if it could be specified in the legal agreement that the properties would be for people with connections to Ashill.


The Development Services Manager said that the parking on the Green was an offer by the applicants to resolve a parking problem.  He suggested that the application be determined as presented and that any disagreement about the parking arrangements could be resolved separately.


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



Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 962 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


Mr Trappes-Lomax




Cotman Housing Association

Old Buckenham



Flagship Housing Group Ltd




Mr R Childerhouse




Mr R Childerhouse




Mr Richard Proctor Smith




Mrs Laura Handford




Mrs Liz Glenn




Mr Kevin Peters





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: 3PL/2008/0526/F: Hockham: Land adjacent North Farm, Shropham Road: Demolition of barn/shed and erection of 4 No dwellings and garages for Mr Trappes-Lomax


The site of this application for the demolition of a clay-lump barn and the erection of a terrace of four cottages fell outside the Conservation Area and within the Settlement Boundary.


The existing barn was in fairly good condition.  English Heritage had looked at it twice, but decided it was not of listable quality.  As the barn was not listed and was not in the Conservation Area, it could be demolished without permission.


The proposal included provision of a bat loft in one of the garages; a new footpath along the site frontage to link with existing; and a grey-water system with storage tanks.  The design of the cottages was nicely detailed and consistent with the character of the area.


Mr Thomas, Parish Council, said the barn was over 200 years old and of great local interest.  It was a shuttered earth construction, not clay lump, and as such was extremely rare.  There were colonies of bats in the barn and barn owls used it.  He asked that an owl loft be provided on the new development.  He was also concerned about road safety, due to the narrow width of the road, insufficient parking provision and the speed of passing traffic.


Mr Neal, objector, confirmed that the barn was not clay lump and stressed the difference, saying that shuttered earth construction was of special interest and more time was needed to investigate this unique building.  He was also concerned about road safety, due to the number of HGVs using the road and speed.


Mr Salisbury, representing the CPRE and the Breckland Society also wanted to retain the barn and said it could be converted to a dwelling.  Its loss was against the wishes of local residents and the Parish Council.


The Council’s Historic Buildings Officer objected to the proposal and was pressing English Heritage for a response, but did not think the barn was of listable quality. 


Mr Scarlett (Agent) said the terrace of four, three bedroom properties was aimed at young families and designed to look like a row of agricultural workers’ dwellings.  The barn was only of modest quality and there were several others like it in the village.  The footpath would be a major contribution to safety.


Mr Cowen, Ward Representative, said the Council had a duty of care to the environment and he did not want to see the barn lost forever.  It was of significant age and retained its integrity.  The sharing of the access by five properties would cause problems in an area used by large farm vehicles.  Bats and owls should be encouraged and he urged the Committee to think carefully as custodians of the environment.


Members were concerned about the contradictory information on the age and construction of the barn and felt more clarity was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Enforcement Items (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Applications Determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 13)

3CM/2008/0024/F: Dereham: Dereham CE VA Infants School and Nursery: St Withburga Lane: Single storey stand alone classroom to replace existing mobile classroom in same location for Norwich Diocesan Board of Education.

Decision:  Approval


3CM/2008/0024/F: Swaffham: Hamonds High School: Brandon Road: Replacement of existing rooflight with extract fans with ventilation equipment for Norfolk County Council.

Decision:  Approval


This item was noted.



Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 14)

APP/F2605/A/08/2084565: Attleborough: The Bungalow, Green Lane, Fiddlers Green: Appeal against refusal to grant planning permission for the erection of a cottage style dwelling for Christopher Webster: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0091/O

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2082905: Dereham: 19 Elvin Road: Appeal against refusal to grant planning permission for a pair of three bedroom houses for Ms C J Frost: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0573/F

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2088293: Shropham: 14 Watton Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant outline planning permission for one 2-storey detached house with garage and new access for Mrs D L Wyatt: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/1132/O

Decision:  Appeal Allowed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2085489: Rocklands: Forestgate. Attleborough Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for the construction of two bungalows and garages for Mr R Overton: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0223/F

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2085155: Carbrooke: Tomira, Shipdham Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for a two-storey extension and conservatory extension for Mr Paul Long: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0700/F

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


This item was noted.