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 95 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2009.


The minutes of the meeting held on 30 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 Mr A Byrne, Mr R Kemp and Mr N Wilkin.



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.


Mrs D Irving declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 9 (Schedule Items 3 and 4 Attleborough) through her husband’s employment.


Mr P Francis and Mr A Stasiak declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 9 (Schedule Items 3 and 4 Attleborough) by virtue of owning commercial property in the area.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


As there were a large number of people waiting to speak it was agreed that the LDF update and the report on the Use of Submission Development Control Policies would be heard at the end of the meeting.



Rocklands: 68 The Street: Demolition of bungalow and erection of four dwellings for Mrs Firman (Plots 2, 3 & 4) and Mr and Mrs Firman (Plot 1): 3PL/2008/1467/O (Agenda Item 8a) pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To consider applications deferred at previous meetings including some, but not all, of those shown on the attached Schedule of Deferred Applications.

Additional documents:


This item had been deferred at the 15 December 2008 Committee meeting.


Members were reminded of the proposal, which was in outline form and involved the demolition of an existing bungalow and its replacement with four dwellings.  The site was within the Settlement Boundary and Members were shown a map showing other similar ‘backland’ development in the vicinity.


The new dwelling fronting The Street would have its own access, the three behind would be accessed jointly from an existing access to the adjacent property.  This access would be improved and a footpath would be provided across the site frontage.


An indicative layout plan and elevations were shown.


Further information had been provided to the Environment Agency and they had raised no objection to the proposal.  Anglian Water had confirmed that there was sufficient capacity to deal with foul water from the development.  All details had been passed to the Council’s independent drainage consultant who had confirmed that the scheme would not exacerbate flooding in the street.


There had been a great deal of local objection and concerns included drainage, highway safety, density and impact on the area.


It was noted that the Chairman and other Members of the Committee had received representation direct from Mr Witt concerning flooding.


Mr Witt, representing the Parish Council, said he had 40 years experience as a drainage consultant and he did not agree with the figures provided by the applicant.  There had been three major storms in the past five years leading to health and safety problems, with sewage in houses and gardens.  He believed the new development would make the problems more critical.


Mr Jones, objector, said that flooding was a huge issue in the village with ten dwellings threatened.  As a governor of the school he was concerned that one new dwelling was too close to a classroom with possible noise, disturbance and screening problems.  He thought that water from the development would flow into the playground and school buildings.


Mr Riley, a consultant with 30 years experience of solving drainage problems, said the drainage scheme had been designed to provide three times the required capacity.  They were aware of problems in the village and the new development would improve the situation.


Mr Took, Agent, appreciated the concerns of local people but said that all the experts had accepted the scheme.


Mr Smith, Ward Representative, said there were long-term drainage problems in the village.  He thought the scheme would be detrimental in terms of drainage and appearance.  Until the drainage problems in the village were overcome he urged the Committee not to cause the residents further distress and damage.


Members debated the drainage issue at length.  They felt they had received conflicting information and that the expert’s opinions conflicted with the evidence of local people. 


The Solicitor advised them that they were required to assess the evidence provided and that failure to do so could result in costs at appeal.


RESOLVED to refuse the application on grounds of overdevelopment and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Attleborough: Sainsbury's Supermarket: Extension to existing supermarket, reconfiguration of car park/access/egress & demolition of existing Petrol Station for Sainsbury's Supermarket Ltd: 3PL/2009/0089/F & 3PL/2009/0090/CA (Agenda Item 9)

Report of the Development Services Manager.

Additional documents:


Mrs D Irving, Mr P Francis and Mr A Stasiak declared a personal interest in this item.


This full application for an extension to Sainsbury’s store was accompanied by a Conservation Area consent application for the demolition of the petrol filling station on site, which fell partly within the Conservation Area.  The two applications were considered together.


The extension would allow for the rearrangement of the internal sales area and provide a two storey back-up area including a mezzanine floor for staff facilities and an unloading bay for deliveries.


The current two-point access and egress arrangements would be changed to provide a single point of access to the east of the site.  Five additional parking spaces would be provided.


No details of the landscaping proposals for the site frontage had been provided but an indicative plan showed a wall, ironwork and planting which would give a soft edge to the site.


The Highways Authority had no objections subject to conditions and a S106 agreement for the provision of a transport plan and its future monitoring.


The Town Council objected strongly on several grounds, particularly highway safety.  They were concerned that the new single access point was located at a narrow part of the road where no right turn feeder lane could be accommodated and also close to an existing Pelican crossing which could cause tail-backs and conflict between users and vehicles.  The existing pedestrian refuge in the access road had been omitted and there was no pedestrian crossing facility shown there. 


They were also concerned about the effect on the street scene of the loss of the petrol filling station and asked for a site visit by the Committee.


Officers had considered the issues and felt that the extension was in line with Government guidance.  There would be minimal overlooking or impact on neighbouring properties.  Their main concern was the treatment of the street frontage.  Soft landscaping was not considered appropriate as the sense of enclosure, created by the petrol filling station’s canopy, would be lost.


Members were asked to defer the application if they were minded to approve it to enable further negotiation, or otherwise indicate their views.


The Development Services Manager clarified that Members had various alternatives available.  They could refuse the application; they could agree the principle of the development and allow officers to negotiate changes under delegated authority; or they could defer it and require it to be brought back.


He mentioned that Mr Higgins was in attendance from the Highways Authority to answer any questions. 


Mr McGrath, the Agent, had thought that the application was going to be recommended for refusal and was in attendance to ask for it to be deferred for negotiations on the frontage treatment.  He said the principle accorded with policy and that Sainsbury’s were looking at alternative provision for a filling station within the town.


Mr Stasiak, Ward Representative, agreed that deferral was a sensible way forward.  He asked how big the extension was in percentage terms and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Thetford: Abbey Barns, Monksgate: Demolition of buildings on site and erection of 15 units, conversion of barns to 6 units and conversion of listed building to 5 units for H G Developments: 3PL/2008/1339/LB & 3PL/2008/1340/F (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


It was noted that these two applications for planning permission and listed building consent would be considered together and voted on separately at the conclusion of the discussion.


The proposal was to create 26 dwellings by the conversion of existing buildings to 11 units and the demolition of other buildings and their replacement with 15 new-build dwellings.  It was an almost identical scheme to one previously approved by Committee, currently the subject of a legal challenge.


Members were shown a coloured map clearly identifying those buildings to be converted (in yellow) and those to be demolished (in orange).  The buildings to be demolished were more modern cart sheds.  The new build elements would maintain the courtyard feel and be in a barnyard style to maintain the character of the site, whilst being smaller in scale than the original buildings to make clear that they were new additions.


There would be minimal alterations to the fabric of the listed buildings and their existing appearance would be maintained. 


No affordable housing element or financial contributions would be required as the scheme was marginal in terms of viability, particularly in relation to the conversion of the Grade I listed buildings and having to gain Scheduled Monument Consent.  This had been confirmed by the District Valuer.


The principle issues to be considered were:

-        Heritage impact

-        Alternative uses

-        Impact on the locality

-        Policy


Each of these matters was explained in detail and important parts of the written report were emphasised.  Particular reference was made to an alternative proposal made by the Thetford Society.  Members had received e-mail representation from this Society and paper copies of their proposal had been tabled at the start of the meeting.


In conclusion the officer advised that the application scheme was a good one; it had been designed to minimise the impact of potential overlooking of adjacent properties; it performed well in both national and local policy terms; the conversion scheme was the result of long negotiations and respected the historic nature of the buildings; and considerable regard had been given to alternative uses, but it was not felt that there was another proposal at a stage to be seriously considered.  The application was therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions and referral to the Secretary of State.


Mr Chambers, Town Clerk, added to the comments already sent from the Town Council.  He said that they supported the proposals put forward by the Thetford Society and hoped that the Committee would at least defer the application to give time for the Society to meet with English Heritage.  He acknowledged that time was needed to raise the money but thought that if the Council acquired the site under Compulsory Purchase powers, money might be available in the future for charitable or community ownership.  He said that the protection of historic buildings was a key issue in the Thetford Area Action Plan and he was concerned that no repair notice had been issued.


Mr Wilson, objector, felt  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Schedule of Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No


H G Developments




H G Developments




Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd




Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd




Mr Brian Keane




Peddars Way Housing Association





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: Thetford: Abbey Barns, Monksgate: Demolition of buildings on site and erection of 15 units, conversion of barns to 6 units and conversion of listed buildings to 5 units for H G Developments: 3PL/2008/1339/LB


Approved, subject to referral to SOS.  See Minute No 63/09.


(b)       Item 2: Thetford: Abbey Barns, Monksgate: Demolition of buildings on site and erection of 15 units, conversion of barns to 6 units and conversion of listed buildings to 5 units for H G Developments: 3PL/2008/1340/F


Approved, as recommended.  See Minute No 63/09.


(c)        Item 3: Attleborough: Sainsbury’s Supermarket: Extension to existing supermarket, reconfigurations of car park / access / egress and demolition of existing Petrol Station for Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd: 3PL/2009/0089/F


Refused.  See Minute No 62/09.


(d)       Item 4: Attleborough: Sainsbury’s Supermarket, High Street: Demolition of petrol filling station to allow alterations to site access / egress and changes to parking layout for Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd: 3PL/2009/0090/CA


Refused.  See Minute No 62/09.


(e)       Item 5: Thetford: 51 Brunel Way: Proposed B1 unit, with associated parking for Mr Brian Keane: 3PL/2009/0113/F


This application was on the agenda because it had originally been a Major application.  It now fell below that threshold.


Members were shown elevations of the proposed factory unit on a site within the industrial estate.  15 parking spaces and a servicing area were included in the scheme which accorded with PPG 4.


Approved, as recommended.


(f)         Item 6: Harling: 19 Jubilee Avenue: Demolition of existing houses Nos 19 and 20, create access and construction of 12 new 2 storey houses in four blocks for Peddars Way Housing Association: 3PL/2009/0204/F


This application for 12 houses followed an application for 14 houses on the same site recently refused because of the impact on adjacent listed buildings.  Two previous applications had been withdrawn.


In this latest application, the two houses closest to the listed buildings in The Crescent, had been omitted and an area of open space provided separation between the listed Skipper houses and the new development.


The layout on Jubilee Avenue had been maintained and the scheme was considered acceptable in terms of density and would provide 100% affordable housing, secured by S106 agreement in perpetuity, and built to Code Level 3.


The scheme was well designed and laid out to avoid direct overlooking.  Additional traffic was a concern and the turning head at the top of Jubilee Avenue would be reduced in size to improve the access arrangements.  Improvements would also be made to the junction of Jubilee Avenue with Kenninghall Road.


The  comments of the Ward Representative (Lady Fisher) were read out.  She was concerned about the loss of garden space; the adverse effect on the character of the village; and that the style was not in keeping.  She felt that affordable housing could be secured through sites coming forward in the LDF and hoped the Committee would refuse the application.


Ms Tarft, objector, spoke  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.


Applications determined by the Development Services Manager (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 28 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 13)

APP/F2605/A/08/2091116: Swaffham: 44 Market Place: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for the use of the premises for A2 purposes as a licensed betting office by William Hill Organisation Ltd: Application Reference: 3PL/2008/1361/CU.

Decision:  Appeal Allowed.


APP/F2605/A/08/2090776: North Tuddenham: Land adjoining The Old Mine Bar, The Lodge, Main Road: Appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the erection of new 40 bedroom residential nursing home by Express Care (Guest Services Ltd): Application Reference: 3PL/2008/0321/F.

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


This item was noted.



Applications Determined By Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 14)

3CM/2008/0022/LB: Gressenhall: Norfolk Rural Life Museum, Union House: Internal alterations in tea room and kitchen area, improve disabled entrance and create new entrance to tearoom for Norfolk Rural Life Museum.

Decision: Conditional Approval


3CM/2009/0012/F: Thetford: The Bishop’s Church of England Primary School, Canterbury Way: Erection of fencing and gates for Children’s Services.

Decision: Conditional Approval


3CM/2009/0006/F: Beetley: East Bilney Quarry, Rawhall Lane, East Bilney: Variation of condition 1 of pp C/3/1998/2036 to allow the continued use of an area for the recycling of inert construction and demolition waste until 30/12/2013 for Middleton Aggregates Ltd.

Decision: Conditional Approval


3CM/2009/0008/F: Quidenham: Eccles, Hargham and Wilby CE VA Primary School, Wilby Road: Replacement windows for Children’s Services.

Decision: Conditional Approval


This item was noted.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The consultation on the Thetford Area Action Plan had closed.  About 170 responses had been received from individuals and 735 questionnaires from school pupils.


The pre-hearing for the Core Strategy document would take place on 19 May 2009, commencing at 10.00am.  The Inspector would outline how the examination in public would run.  It would be a public meeting, but no representations could be made at that time.  The Inspector had already indicated that the public examination would commence on 30 June and last for two weeks.



Use of Submission Development Control Policies (Agenda Item 7a) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Report of the Strategic Director for Transformation.

Additional documents:


Due to the length of the meeting and the fact that several Members had already departed, it was agreed that this item would be deferred to the next meeting and would be heard before any applications were determined.