Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 71 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2009.


The minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 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 Mrs S Miller and Mr R Kemp.



Declarations 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.


Councillor C Bowes declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 9 (Brettenham) by virtue of family connections to the tenant farmer.  She also declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Schedule Item 4 (Watton) by virtue of having a financial interest in the site.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


Members were informed that the Planning Summer School would be held at Exeter from 4 to 8 September 2009.  Anyone interested in attending was asked to inform the Chairman.



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.


It was noted that Schedule Item 5 (Besthorpe) had been withdrawn.  It was likely that this application would be re-submitted.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Principal Planning Policy Officer told Members that the Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Document which had been approved at Council on 12 March 2009, would be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate today.  The Pre-Examination meeting would be held on 19 May 2009 and the Examination in Public, which was expected to last two weeks, would commence on 29 June.  The Inspector’s details were expected soon.


The consultation on the Additional Sites would close today.  About 100 comments had been received and more were expected before the 5pm deadline.


The inaugural meeting of the LDF Working Group would be held on 1 April 2009.  At that meeting the timetable of LDF production would be considered and discussion would take place on what weight could be given to elements of the submitted Core Strategy and Development Control Policies.



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 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.

Additional documents:


Councillor Bowes declared a personal interest in this item.


This proposal had been fully discussed at previous meetings of the Committee and had come back for further consideration.


Members were given an overview of the proposal, the consultations and the issues raised. 


The proposal was unchanged, but the description had been amended to reflect the joint use of the land for mixed equine and agricultural use.


Addressing the issue of impact on the countryside, the Officer explained that there would be limited hardstanding associated with the small stable blocks; the need for which was accepted on isolation requirement grounds.


The three metre wide gallops would also have limited impact being constructed of sand with post and rail inner fencing to the central grazing land and post and wire outer fencing surrounded by a wildlife buffer.  There would be no jumps or floodlighting.


Mr Poulter, representing the Parish Council, spoke strongly in support of retaining the agricultural land which he said was of good quality and had an installed irrigation system.  He quoted National policies and others contained within the emerging LDF Core Strategy document which aimed to protect agricultural land.  He also felt that any additional employment would be for a short term each year only.


Mr Wright, objector, had been a tenant of the land in partnership with his brother and sister for many years.  He said the proposed agricultural use would not be by them.  The proposal would have a huge impact on the landscape and on bio-diversity.  It would cause the loss of 50 acres of good land and would not create jobs.


Mr Warth, Agent, said that equine use would provide many more direct and indirect employment opportunities than agriculture.  He reiterated that Stone Curlews did not like arable land or open countryside and said that more areas of land would be set aside for bio-diversity under this proposal.  Finally he mentioned that the tenant farmer had been offered compensation above the national requirement.


Lady Fisher, Ward Representative, was surprised that there had not been an Environmental Impact Statement provided.  She said this was a big equine village on the grand scale which would impact on the countryside and lead to loss of bio-diversity, contrary to policies.


The Solicitor pointed out to Members that it was up to the Committee to approve or refuse the application, but that adequate and sustainable reasons had to be given.


A Member asked about pre-determination, as the Committee had already considered this application.  The Solicitor advised that as long as Members had an open mind they could participate.


A discussion then followed concerning the amount of agricultural land which had already been lost to equine use.  Figures had been provided, for this holding only, by the tenant farmer, which indicated that almost 47 hectares of land had been lost since January 2002.  It was pointed out that there was still over 1300 hectares farmed by the tenant.


The need for planning permission for the change of use of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.


Schedule of Planning Applications (Schedule Item 10) pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


H Irwin Ltd




Mr Philip Hodson




Mr I Haynes




Mr T Wells




Mr T H & Mr P H Day




Mr R Storey & Ms S Moden




Mr S Mellor

Great Ellingham



Miss Anne Bustard





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: 3PL/2008/0497/F: Griston: Willow Fields Farm, Caston Road: Siting of mobile home for temporary period for H Irwin Ltd


This application for temporary permission to stand a mobile home followed a previous refusal.  New supporting information had been provided from an independent technical advisor. 


The accommodation would allow a stockman to live on-site and provide 24/7 supervision and security for the existing free range chicken enterprise.


The mobile home would be well screened by mature vegetation.


Mr Sutton, Agent and Mr Irwin, Applicant explained that the site had the potential to hold more arcs and a greater number of chickens, but a permanent presence on-site was necessary as early and late checks were carried out seven days a week.  There was also the need to protect against predators, prevent intruders and maintain bio-security.


Mr Rogers, Ward Representative, supported the Parish Council’s objection.  He said there were properties available to rent in the area and that night work only occurred on a few days per year when the birds were caught.


A Member who had attended two recent appeals on similar proposals said that it was clear that the financial test was satisfied and the need for security was acknowledged in this case.  Only the sequential test on alternative accommodation remained to be satisfied.


After discussion is was generally agreed that on-site accommodation was warranted to provide the degree of supervision and security required.


A Member asked why permission had not been sought for a permanent dwelling and it was explained that until an enterprise had been in existence for more than five years, Government guidance recommended temporary approval only.


Approved, as recommended, subject to an additional drainage condition.


(b)       Item 2: 3PL/2008/1419/F: Brettenham: Home Farm, Shadwell: Change of Use to mixed agricultural and equine use and the construction of an all weather gallop and two stables consisting of six boxes each for Mr P Hodson


Approved.  See Minute No 50/09 above.


            Item 3: 3PL/2008/1522/O: Attleborough: The Foundry, Foundry Corner, Buckenham Road: Erection of dwelling and garage/carport for Mr I Haynes


Outline planning permission for a dwelling already existed on this site but the siting was contrived to place the proposal within the Settlement Boundary.  This outline application, with all matters reserved, sought permission to place the new dwelling outside the Settlement Boundary.


It was felt that a high quality design in a position further back in the site would improve the appearance and be more attractive for the character of the area.  An indicative plan had been received to demonstrate this.


Mr Stasiak, Ward Representative, spoke in support of this application.  He felt that negotiations had led to a satisfactory conclusion and he asked Members to approve the proposal.


A Member was concerned that this was only an outline application and that there would be no way to ensure the high quality design desired.


The Development Services Manager felt that to allow the re-arrangement would provide  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.


Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 38 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.



Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 13)

APP/F2605/A/08/2089942: Dereham: 16A Westfield Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for the change of use of an existing artist studio along with extension to form a dwelling by Mr and Mrs William Cooper: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/1048/F

Decision:  Appeal Allowed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2089580: Dereham: Lyndon, Mary Unwin Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for the erection of 8 apartments following demolition of existing by Peartree Property Company: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0988/F

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2089810 (ex 1174295): Shipdham: Near Wood Farm: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for the erection of two wind turbine generators, each with a maximum hub height of 65m and a maximum tip height of 100m by Ecotricity: Application Reference: 3PL/2004/0313/F

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


This item was noted.



Applications determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 14)

3CM/2005/0010/F: Longham: Longham Quarry, Reed Lane: Recycled aggregates facility for Tarmac Ltd.

Decision: Conditional Approval.


3CM/2009/0003/F: Watton: Westfield Infants and Nursery School, West Road: Installation of a canopy for Children’s Services.

Decision: Conditional Approval.


This item was noted.



Members' Interests / Protocol (Agenda Item 15)


Interests of Development Control Members (Agenda Item 15a) pdf icon PDF 510 KB

For the solicitor to remind Members of the provisions in the Code of Conduct relating to interests and to answer any questions.


A copy of the Interests Flowchart (previously circulated) is attached.


As a lead-in to the draft planning protocol the Solicitor gave Members a quick reminder about interests. 


He explained that under the Code of Conduct Members must not use their position for their own, or others’ advantage.  This could be a complicated matter to decide and he felt that the flowchart would help Members to decide.


The new Code referred to ‘close associates’ but did not give a definition of what this meant; although it was explained in the Guidance.


He ran through an example of a recent court case where the perception of the public had been taken into account. 


Members were required to declare their interest and the nature of that interest.  It was more important to declare the nature of the interest when they were only declaring a personal interest, for clarity.


The definition of prejudicial interest had been narrowed to matters affecting the financial position of the Member or their close associate, or when an approval of permission related to the Member or a close associate.


The crunch point was – would a member of the public consider that an interest would affect the Member’s judgement?


A Member suggested that applications by fellow Councillors, or by the Local Authority itself, should be dealt with by a neighbouring Council.  However under current legislation this would not be allowed.


To determine who would be considered a ‘close associate’ the Solicitor suggested that Members should assess how the association would appear to other people.  He said that the main indicator of close association was regular social contact.



Draft Planning Protocol (Agenda Item 15b) pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To consider the attached draft Planning Protocol for recommendation to Council.


The Solicitor told Members that the draft guidance for Members would need to go through Standards Committee and Council to be adopted.


At item 2.1, bullet point two, he suggested that it was important for Members to keep a record of any formal meetings to safeguard themselves and the Authority.  He urged Members to be cautious of what they said if asked for advice and to make clear that they would keep an open mind until they had heard all the facts.


It was also important to declare any written information received as this might give them additional information not known to other Committee members.


The question of pre-determination was discussed.  This was a similar concept to bias.  If a Member had made up his/her mind before a meeting – or appeared to have done so, they should not take part in the item.


A Member could be pre-disposed, but must still have an open mind when they attended the meeting.  If they expressed strong opinions in advance of the meeting they should not then participate.


Some Committees were very strict and only allowed Members to vote if they had been present for the whole item.  This seemed to be reasonable and Members were asked to consider this if they left the Chamber during a debate.


Site Visits had been changed and there was no longer any opportunity for debate at that time.  The visits were simply to look at the site and to gain information.  The debate should take place in the Chamber.


On the question of ‘gifts’ the Solicitor said that these could be considered much more relevant if they were received before a decision had been made.


The Solicitor hoped that the draft reflected what Members were already doing and said that if there were any points they were unsure of they should contact him to discuss them.