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 82 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2009.


The minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2009 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 B Borrett, Mr A Byrne, Mrs M Chapman-Allen, Mrs D Irving, Mr M Kiddle-Morris Mr M Spencer and Mrs P Spencer.



Declaration of Interest and of Representations Received (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 introduced.


Members noted that they had received direct representation for Agenda Item 8a (Swaffham) and Schedule Item 3 (Tittleshall).


Agenda Item 12 -

Mr Francis declared a personal interest in sites in Shropham by virtue of living in the vicinity.

Mr Duigan declared a personal interest in MIN 28 (Hoe) by virtue of being a Dereham Town Councillor sent papers by Hoe Parish Council in respect of this site.

Mr Labouchere declared a personal interest in MIN 97 (Billingford and Bintree) by virtue of living in the vicinity.

Mr Shape declared a personal interest in WAS 84 (North Pickenham) by virtue of living in the vicinity.

Mr Wilkin declared a prejudicial interest in WAS 84 (North Pickenham) as his son ran a business from the site, and took no part in this item.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)


The Chairman congratulated Mr P Claussen on his appointment as Executive Member for Planning, Health and Housing.



Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 


The Development Services Manager advised Members that there had been only slight changes since the last update. 


The Site Specifics meetings were continuing and resulting in some very positive discussions and were proving helpful to Town and Parish Councils.  The next meeting would take place on Wednesday 25 November 2009 in the Memorial Hall, Dereham; and would be looking at villages in the North Eastern quadrant of the district.  The following meeting, to be held on Friday 11 December in the Village Hall at Mundford, would consider villages in the South Western quadrant of the district.



Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 42 KB

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


The Development Services Manager updated Members on the second item in the Schedule of Deferred Applications at page 7 of the Agenda (Hockham). 


The application for the demolition of a barn at Hockham had been deferred to allow the Parish Council time to apply to get the barn listed.  They had been successful and the application had therefore been withdrawn.  Officers were now in conversation with the applicants regarding an alternative scheme.



Swaffham: Retirement Village, Stanfield House, Lynn Road: Application Reference: 3PL/2009/0331/F (Agenda Item 8a) pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Additional documents:


This application sought full planning permission for a retirement village comprising a care home and dwellings.  It had been deferred by the Committee, on 13 July 2009, to allow the impact of an existing underground pipeline to be assessed further.


As a result of discussions between the applicant and the pipeline operator some minor amendments had been made to the proposed access and parking arrangements to avoid any development over the pipeline.


The Council’s Contaminated Land Officer had also requested site investigation work in the form of ground gas monitoring, in relation to a former landfill site in the vicinity.  On the basis of the test results provided the Contaminated Land Officer had no objection subject to a condition requiring further investigation/monitoring.


The application was satisfactory in all other respects and was recommended for approval subject to conditions and a legal agreement.


A Member asked about objections made by the three GP practices in Swaffham and was advised that they had raised concerns about the additional burden on the GP practices from the proposed development.  The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) said that this was a difficult issue for the Committee to deal with as there were no policy reasons for refusal on these grounds and no mechanism in place to require contributions by developers for additional medical infrastructure.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of a section 106 agreement restricting the occupancy of the proposed retirement dwellings.



3PL/2009/0681/F: Watton: Beechwood House, High Street: Erection of residential care home for Jetspark (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Developments) introduced this item and explained that the application for a residential care home in Watton town centre did not necessarily mean it would be a home for the elderly.  The C2 use class covered all forms of residential care homes.


The care home would provide 40 resident rooms and ancillary facilities, accommodated within a series of interconnected 2-storey blocks.  The existing residential property, Beechwood House, would be retained for use in connection with the proposed care home. 


The footprint was large but the building had been designed to reduce its bulk and volume.  Views of the building from the surrounding area would be screened by trees except to the south.


A new access had been designed to avoid harm to the protected beech tree at the front of the site.  The access would be set back and the existing boundary wall would be lowered to improve visibility for vehicles and pedestrians.  A cobbled strip would warn drivers that they were crossing a footway.  The Town Council and the Highways Authority both objected to the access on safety grounds. 


Mr Worsfold, NCC Highways representative, explained that the site was currently a single dwelling with an expected trip-generation of eight to ten movements per day.  A C2 use was likely to generate a significant increase in vehicle movements.  The High Street was a busy shopping centre with a large number of pedestrian movements.  The new access would be directly adjacent Beechwood Avenue and was likely to increase traffic conflict, detrimental to highway safety.


He concluded by saying that bin and cycle storage facilities on site were inadequate and that, in its current state, the application was unacceptable.


Mr Rudling, for the Town Council, strongly recommended refusal.  The High Street was very congested and even gridlocked at times.  There was a taxi rank immediately outside the site and a bus stop opposite.  Beechwood Avenue was a popular area for parking and the car parks in the town were already full without additional cars from this development.  He was concerned at the lack of recreational facilities on the site, with nowhere for residents to sit outside.  He also felt that if the home was for the elderly they might be disturbed by the town centre activity and noise.


Miss Osborne, Business Manager of Watton Medical Practice, objected on behalf of the doctors.  She said they already had 12,200 patients with a growing population due to the large number of additional dwellings to be built in Watton.  There were also already seven care homes in Watton; over 30% of the population was over 60 and there was double the national average of patients with diabetes, respiratory and heart disease.  There was already enormous pressure on the doctors to do home visits and the surgery would be unable to cope with another care home.


Mr Pettifer, Agent, said that C2 uses did not generate much traffic and the lack of on-site parking would encourage the use  ...  view the full minutes text for item 181.


3PL/2009/0715/F: Lyng: Lakeside Country Club, Quarry Lane: Erection of holiday accommodation for Lakeside Country Club (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) introduced this application for the erection of 10 units of additional holiday accommodation in two 3-storey blocks (designed to exactly match existing), with retrospective permission sought for an internal access road.


Evidence of the need for the additional accommodation had been supplied by the applicant and this met the policy requirements.  The club was within walking distance of the village and the units would be built to a good standard, so sustainability requirements were also met.  The effect on the surrounding area was considered to be minimal although it was acknowledged that the new internal road passed close to two residential properties.  The applicant operated a one way system on this road, which accessed one wing of accommodation and had offered to provide further planting to the boundary to mitigate its effects; it was not considered a sufficient reason for refusal.


The main issue was the fact that the blocks were to be positioned on the edge of an area classified as Flood Zone 2.  Part of the site was in Flood Zone 1 where risk was lower and development should be encouraged to take place. However, as the new blocks were a continuation of previous development and placed to maximise the benefits of fishing and wildlife for visitors, Officers considered that it was acceptable and were recommending approval.


Mr Lumbley, for the Parish Council, objected to the development which he said was on an urban scale.  The buildings would impact on the village and the Wensum Valley.  The new road was too close to the neighbouring properties to allow for additional landscaping. The camp caused light pollution and the site had previously been flooded.


Mr Clarke, Agent, said that there had been huge investment over the last 12 months with rebranding and new management.  The lakes had been restocked and a strict maintenance programme introduced.  Trail walks around the lakes were open to locals.  They were working with professionals to market the camp through the website, promoting the park and the Wensum Valley.  The apartments were being upgraded using sustainable materials and solar panels and the development would provide employment for local people.


Mr Bambridge, Ward Representative, said that he normally supported local businesses but there were a number of issues in this case.  He did not feel that the need for the extra accommodation had been proven; he was concerned about the flood risk; and he was also concerned about the long term effects on the Wensum Valley.  There had been complaints about the condition of the original access road, which should be conditioned for improvement if approval was given and the problems of the new road needed to be addressed.


Members discussed occupancy figures, future bookings and potential conditions.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) suggested that any approval should be subject to confirmation that the Environment Agency did not object.  He agreed that the internal access road did not have much room for additional planting and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 182.


Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 22 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page No






Lakeside Country Club




Mr N Medler




Mr G Foulger

South Lopham




RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)       Item 1: Watton: Beechwood House, High Street: Erection of residential care home for Jetspark: Reference: 3PL/2009/0618/F:


Refused, see Minute No 181/09.


(b)       Item 2: Lyng: Lakeside Country Club, Quarry Lane: Erection of additional holiday accommodation in two blocks for Lakeside Country Club: Reference: 3PL/2009/0715/F


Approved, see Minute No 182/09.

(c)        Item 3: Tittleshall: 13 High Street: Domestic extension and wall and pedestrian entrance for Mr N Medler: Reference: 3PL/2009/0887/F

This application sought permission for the erection of a single storey side and rear extension to an existing two storey end of terrace dwelling.  This development would require the removal of a protected tree.

Officers considered this to be a well designed scheme, but the loss of the protected tree would be detrimental to the Conservation Area and to the streetscene and on that basis alone the application was recommended for refusal.

Mr Garner, for the Parish Council, said that this was the last plot needing improvement in the High Street.  The Parish Council fully supported the application which would provide accommodation for a young couple to settle in the village.  The protected tree was in a position which might cause problems to drainage in the future, it was not a very attractive tree and the applicant had offered to replace it with two new trees which would be very acceptable.

Mr Payne, Agent, said that the tree had only recently been protected.  The right trees needed to be grown in the right places and this tree was too big and did not fit in the domestic space.  It would be better to put an appropriate tree in the right place.

The Development Services Manager pointed out that this permission would not be personal to the young couple, who could sell the property on at any time.  He asked Members to bear that in mind.

Members were divided on the importance of retaining the tree and the vote on the recommendation was tied.  The Chairman’s casting vote supported the recommendation.

Refused, as recommended.

(d)       Item 4: South Lopham: The Lilacs, Low Common: Amendments to existing dormers and amendments to dormer, front door and porch of previous approval 3PL/2006/0680/F (retrospective) for Mr G Foulger: Reference: 3PL/2009/0926/F

This application sought to regularise work carried out which was not in accordance with an earlier approval.  The changes related to two existing dormers and a new dormer in the approved extension which had been raised to incorporate higher cills; and minor changes to the front porch and a chimney.

The dwelling was one side of a pair of semi detached cottages.  The occupant of the other cottage and the Parish Council objected to the changes.

Members were reminded that the fact that the application was retrospective was not relevant to the consideration.  They must decide whether the changes to the appearance of the two properties caused significant harm.  It would be better if all the dormers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 183.



Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Additional documents:


Mr Duigan, Mr Francis, Mr Labouchere and Mr Sharpe declared personal interests in particular sites in the report, and Mr Wilkin declared a prejudicial interest in WAS 84 (see Minute No 176/09).


The Senior Planning Policy Officer introduced his report and explained that Norfolk County Council were carrying out a second round of consultation on proposals for mineral and waste sites in the district.  The report summarised the content of the consultation document and provided the officer’s recommendations on Breckland’s response to the consultation.  The appendices summarised what Breckland Council had said at the previous consultation stage and considered the County Council’s response and whether there was agreement with their assessment.


A number of sites in the consultation had previously been considered by Committee.  He proposed to only look at the new sites added and at those where Norfolk County Council’s assessment differed from the Council’s. 


Members were in agreement with all proposed responses with the exception of WAS 84 (North Pickenham) where it was agreed that a stronger objection, on highway grounds, should be made.


RESOLVED with the amendment noted above, to agree that the comments and recommendations listed in the proposed response column of Appendices B and C, form Breckland Council’s response to the Minerals and Waste Local Development Framework consultation, and in addition that the general comment be made that sites in the same area should not be allowed to be developed at the same time, to avoid cumulative landscape effects and traffic problems.



Applications determined by the Deputy Chief Executive (For Information) pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Report of the Development Services Manager.


This item was noted.



Applications Determined by Norfolk County Council (For Information)

3CM/2009/0025/F: Old Buckenham: Old Buckenham High School, Abbey Road: Alterations to form caretakers works area for The Director of Children’s Services.

Decision: Conditional Approval.


3CM/2009/0024/F: Beeston with Bittering: Punch Farm Quarry, Litcham Road: Formation of access to C222 Litcham Road, construct haul road to quarry and closure of existing access to Watery Lane quarry traffic for East Anglian Stone Ltd.

Decision: Withdrawn.


This item was noted.



Appeal Decisions (For Information)

APP/F2605/A/09/2108569: Watton: 1 East Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant outline planning permission for a proposed house and garage, by Mr Mick Jolly: Application Reference: 3PL/2009/0104/O.

Decision:  Appeal Dismissed.


APP/F2605/A/09/2107872: Harling: The Lodge, West Harling Road: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for a large rear extension (first part demolishing rear section of existing dwelling) and erection of detached garage building with rooms over, by Mr David Holden: Application Reference: 3PL/2009/0020/F.

Decision: Appeal Dismissed.


This item was noted.


Member Briefing

Due to unforeseen circumstances the speaker was unable to attend and this item was postponed until a future meeting.