Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 10 May 2010.


Subject to the following amendments:-

Minute No 79/10 Shropham, page 5, paragraph 7, line 1 to delete ‘against the application’ and insert ‘both on behalf of the residents and as Ward Representative’ and at line 6 at the beginning of the new sentence to insert ‘As Ward Representative he believed that’. At the start of paragraph 10 delete ‘a member’ and insert ‘Mr Wilkin’.

Minute No 80/10 (e) Litcham at the top of page 8 after income, insert ‘for the public house’.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 10 May were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.




To receive apologies for absence.


None received.



Declaration of Interest and of Representations Received

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 were asked to declare an interest at the time the applications were introduced.

  • Councillor Irving declared a personal interest in Item No. 9 East Tuddenham, as Chairman of Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services.
  • Mr Wilkin declared a personal interest in Item No.  1 North Pickenham, as his son traded from the industrial estate near the proposed development.



Requests to Defer Applications included in this Agenda

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.





Urgent Business

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.





Local Development Framework (Standing Item)

To receive an update. 


The Development Services Manager reported that the preferred options for the site specifics were being printed ready for the consultation period running from 16 June until 30 July. Comments would be reported in October 2010. The consultation period would start  with a launch event on 16 June to which Town and Parish Councils and other statutory stake holders were invited. Copies of the 440 page consultation document were issued and site notices displayed on all sites.


The Thetford Area Action Plan had been redrafted following review by officers and Members and was nearing completion but there were certain areas yet to be addressed e.g. urban north. It would be a key role to bring together Thetford Area Action Plan and Moving Thetford Forward and it is hoped the report would be submitted by the end of the year.


The Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Action Plan was nearing completion following a meeting with local land owners to address the transport issues.


In response to a question about potential changes to the core strategy following the appointment of a new government minister, it was confirmed that Capita were in discussion with the government department regarding any changes.



Deferred Applications pdf icon PDF 31 KB

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





East Tuddenham: Ailwyn Hall, Berrys Lane: Extension to existing residential care home including a main entrance and enlargement and formalisation of car parking for Ashley Care Group: Reference: 3PL/2010/0227/F pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.


Councillor Irving declared a personal interest as Chairman of Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services.


The Principal Planning Control Officer presented the report regarding the application for a large extension to the residential home which would increase the capacity from 29 to 84 rooms.


The Tree and Countryside Officer had expressed concern that the distance between the trees and the proposed extension on the southern side was insufficient to protect the amenity of the residents from overshadowing, which conflicts with planning policy DC1, relating to Protection of Amenity. 


Highways had expressed concern about increase in traffic from visitors, staff and other movements effecting highway safety particularly in relation to visibility at the nearby junction between Berry’s Lane and Mattishall Road. The applicant had offered to fund a Traffic Regulation Order to improve the visibility and reduce speed at the junction but Highways still considered the junction inadequate on visibility grounds in terms of anticipated extra traffic.


Additional comments had been received from the Parish Council strongly supporting the application and pointing out that the Highways Authority had not taken into account that some staff lived locally or on site and would be able to bike or walk to work, thus reducing the estimated traffic movements to/from the site.


Councillor Rose, Ward Representative, had sent in an e-mail fully supporting the application but commenting that the road junction would need improving and the speed limit reducing whether or not the application was approved.


The local Primary Care Trust had not supported the application as their Strategic Care Model Assessment had concluded that Dereham had more than sufficient accommodation in the area and that further development was unnecessary.


On balance, due to the traffic and amenity issues relating to this application, the officer’s recommendation was for refusal of planning permission.


Mr Pettifer, the applicant, described the residential home as well run and well regarded with full occupancy and regular enquiries of 10 – 12 per week for accommodation. The planned extension was mostly to the rear of the existing building and would provide full facilities for residents and the trees at the front of the property would be retained.


Mr Cage, the applicant’s highways consultant, commented on traffic movements relating to staff and said that most of the staff lived in 3 local post codes and that they would be offered a free bus service to reduce traffic movements. He anticipated that there would be a small additional use of the local road network due to the expansion. He said that the distance of the visibility splay at the Berry’s Lane/Mattishall Road junction was more than the Highways Authority had specified and that the applicant’s offer of funding could help improve this.


Following questions from Members, it was clarified that the Highways Authority were aware of the applicant’s plans to offer a staff bus but that did not overcome their concerns regarding additional traffic from visitors to the home. The trees relating to the potential amenity issue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.


North Pickenham: Two wind turbines and associated works at North Pickenham airfield for Bernard Matthews Green Energy (North Pickenham) Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2009/0881/F pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.



Mr Wilkin declared a personal interest in this application as his son traded from the industrial estate near the proposed development.


The Principal Planning  Officer presented a report on the application for 2 new wind turbines and associated works to the east of the existing group of 8 turbines. The proposed turbines were to be built on the edge of a designated plateau farmland area which was considered able to accommodate up to 12 turbines according to the Landscape Character Assessment document produced for the Council. The proposal was supported by Central Government Policy PPS22 and Core Strategy Policy DC15 Renewable Energy.


The main issues concerning the proposal were the impact on the landscape and the existing wind turbines. Environmental Health had no objections but had attached certain conditions. It was considered that 2 additional turbines would have a neutral effect to the overall appearance of the site and as they  were downwind from the others, the impact on their efficiency would be negligible particularly in terms of the prevailing wind from the south west. The evidence of amplitude modulation was scant but tended to occur when turbines are in specific rows. The nearest residential properties were sufficient distance away for it not to have a significant impact.


An objection had been received from the Environmental Planning Officer in respect of the cumulative effect of the additional turbines on the landscape, creating a less formal scattered arrangement rather than the linear arrangement of the existing turbines; which would result in more cluttered views particularly with the mix of turbines and associated structures.


Objection letters had been received from 3 local residents who had raised issues relating to wind turbines in general e.g. their efficiency and economic viability; a previous promise that no more wind turbines would be permitted on the site, and that they  were a blot on the landscape which would deter potential house buyers.


North Pickenham Windfarm Partnership, owner of the existing 8 wind turbines had raised objections on the grounds that the proposal would result in the reduction of the output of the existing windfarm, they would be insufficient distances apart, and the connection to the grid had not been fully addressed.


Mr Linley, share holder and manager of the North Pickenham Windfarm, spoke against the proposal, and said that the proposed 2 new wind turbines were too close and would decrease the wind on the existing turbines particularly when coming from the north east. If they were situated further away the effect would be less. The potential increase in noise from the additional turbines would have to be surveyed but it was considered that the amplitude modulation would increase.


Mr Fairlie, Environmental Impact Assessment Consultant for Engena, said that an environmental assessment report had been submitted with the application which addressed all issues to ensure that the wind turbines provided maximum potential with minimal environmental affects. He pointed out that the proposed turbines would be downwind of the existing turbines  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.


Lexham: Proposed education Centre, West Lexham Manor for Mr E Colville: References: 3PL/2009/1138/F & 3PL/2009/1139/LB pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented the report concerning the application for the conversion of former farm buildings into a residential education centre which would provide courses in matters such as sustainability, low impact living and environmental awareness. The proposal would involve the conversion of largely vacant farm buildings into teaching areas, studios, workshops, accommodation, exhibition space and a shop.


Planning issues related to restrictions on economic development in rural areas and the need for sustainable development. The proposal could be justified on the grounds of re-use and conversion of existing buildings and the environmental nature of the courses. The scheme aligned with the aims and objectives of planning policies in that it would incorporate many sustainable features and preserve the character of the buildings ensuring they would be maintained in good condition.


The principal transport routes to the site comprised country lanes and single tracks with informal passing bays not suitable for extensive traffic. It had been estimated that the proposal would result in 14 additional journeys per day or 100 per week. Although an increase on current usage, it would be a decrease in terms of the agricultural traffic that used to use the farm. The Highways Authority had objected on the grounds that there would be too much reliance on cars for transport. However, as the students would tend to be involved in organised activities, travel plan measures could be put in place to reduce journeys and a minibus service would be provided.


Environmental Agency and Natural England Health had objected on the grounds of potential pollution from the inadequate drainage system but these objections had been withdrawn since the applicant had included a reed bed system and water treatment plant.


Mr Colville, applicant, explained it had been a long term aspiration to convert the former farm into a sustainable local amenity which would maintain an alternative use of the farm buildings. He had carried out extensive consultation with residents in the village and, as a result had included space for a community hall and provision of a shop for local use. He wanted to create a centre for the community as well as for education. The proposal comprised ecological building which would become an exemplary development using biodiversity and renewable resources.


Housing would be provided for staff to live on site thus reducing their need to commute to work. Local goods and produce would be used where possible e.g. using biochips from a local farm for heating rather than oil. Regarding the Listed Building, the proposal did not involve removing any fabric apart from changing the barn openings. The Historic Buildings Officer had been consulted and the plans included landscaping to keep the historic farm appearance. The sewage treatment plant would be buried to keep buildings looking historic and traditional elements would be used.


Mr Kiddle-Morris, Ward Representative, spoke in support of the application as he considered it ticked all the boxes in terms of additional employment opportunities, the green agenda and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.


Schedule of Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:


Item No



Page Nos


Bernard Matthews Green Energy

North Pickenham



Mr E Colville




Mr E Colville




Rev D Blackledge




Mr & Mrs J Stocking




Ashley Care Group

East Tuddenham



Mrs B A Goddard




Mr Anthony Gaskin




Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:


(a)               Item 1: North Pickenham Airfield, North Pickenham Road : Installation of 2 wind turbines (125m height), meteorological mast, substation and assoc works for Bernard Matthews Green Energy North Pickenham Ltd; Reference: 3PL/2009/0881/F


Approved, as recommended, see Minute 90/10


(b)               Item 2: West Lexham Manor: Change of use, redundant buildings to create education centre (residential) for Mr E Colville; Reference: 3PL/2009/1138/F


Approved, as recommended, see Minute 91/10


(c)               Item 3: West Lexham Manor: Change of use, redundant buildings to create education centre (residential) for Mr E Colville: Reference: 3PL/2009/1139/LB


This application was considered at the same time as the above.

Approved, as recommended, see Minute 91/10


(d)               Item 4: Gardeners Cottage, Hall Lane, Riddlesworth: erection of 6kW wind turbine (retrospective) for Rev D Blackledge: Reference: 3PL/2009/1150/F


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) presented the report relating to a retrospective application for a 6kW wind turbine, 15 metres, high on the applicants land. Planning permission had been previously granted in 2005 for a larger turbine in a different position on the same site.


Objections had been received from the Parish Council on the grounds of noise disturbance, visual impact, health and the potential to increase to 2 wind turbines using the previous planning permission. Similar points had been raised in other letters of objection plus concerns about the visual impact on the Listed Buildings in the vicinity.


Environmental Health had assessed the noise levels of the turbine and raised no objection to this application but objected to the potential of 2 turbines on the grounds of detrimental effect on the neighbouring property. The Historic Buildings Officer was of the same view that only one turbine should be allowed.


The proposal had been revised and the applicant had agreed to a Section 106 agreement to ensure that only one turbine would be installed on the site.


Dr Donmall, objector and resident of the neighbouring property spoke against the application on the grounds of noise and visual impact. The noise from the wind turbine was intrusive in what was normally a very quiet area and the variation in pitch according to the wind/speed of the turbine was particularly irritating. The turbine was much nearer their property than the original approved application to which they had had no objections.


Rev Blackledge, the applicant, explained that the previous wind turbine had not been erected as the funding had been withdrawn although the concrete base had been built. Due to time pressures relating to funding and a size restriction a smaller wind turbine had been erected in a different place. The position was well screened and nearer to adjacent accommodation at the Bothys, whose inhabitants had not objected and had benefitted from free green energy. Two rows of trees had been planted on the boundary to provide screening for the neighbouring property. There were other background noises in the locality and most locals could not hear the wind turbine and were pleased with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.


Applications determined by the Deputy Chief Executive (For Information) pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.






Enforcement Items (for information) pdf icon PDF 59 KB


The Development Services Manager advised Members that the first appeal, concerning an application that had been refused on policy grounds relating to the Stone Curlew’s buffer zone, had been dismissed by the inspector.


The item was noted.



Appeals decisions (for information)

APP/F2605/A/09/2117084: Braddenham: Shadwell Breck Yard, Snarehill: Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for a new cottage and garage by Mr Philip Hodgson: Reference: 3PL/2008/1627/F

Decision: Appeal Dismissed

Cost Decision: Application Fails and no award of costs is made


APP/F2605/A/10/2120908:  East Tuddenham: Common Farm, Common Road: Appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the change of use and renovation of redundant barn into residential dwelling by Mr & Mrs S Clarke: Reference: 3PL/2009/0937/F

Decision: Appeal Dismissed


APP/F2605/A/10/2120796: Dereham: Humbletoft Farm, Sandy Lane: Appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for a new house and garage by Mr & Mrs Hall: Reference: 3PL/2009/0723/O.

Decision: Appeal Dismissed





Representation on outside bodies

To nominate representatives to the following Liaison Group s for the ensuing year (no political balance).


Snetterton Circuit Liaison Group (Existing/previous members: Mr P Claussen, Mr S Askew, Mr P Cowen).


EPR Liaison Group (Existing/previous members: Mr T Lamb, Mr P Cowen, Mr R Kybird, Mrs M Chapman-Allen, Mr M Spencer).


The Solicitor and Standards Officer informed the Committee that the Snetterton Circuit Liaison Group had been disbanded.


It was suggested that the other issues at Snetterton should be looked at separately and possibly a Member should attend the Attleborough Task Force. The Chairman said that the Committee should look at this and decide whether another group was needed at a future meeting.


Following discussion it was agreed that the Members of the EPR Liaison Group should be re-appointed en-bloc.