Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2012.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


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.


Cllr E Jolly declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 9, Scheduled Item 2, Roudham/Larling by virtue of being related to the Applicant.


Chairman's Announcements


Mr Geoff Upton was introduced and welcomed by the Chairman as the interim Capita Planning and Building Control Manager.


The following two site visits would be undertaken by Committee Members during the afternoon.


Land at Snetterton Heath : Erection of 40MW renewable energy biomass power station and associated works : Reference : 3PL/2012/0029/F


Land at Thetford & Croxton : Comprehensive mixed use urban extension (up to 5000 dwellings, 22.5ha of employment land, local centres, 3 primary schools, green infrastructure, playing fields, other amenity areas and means of access) : Reference : 3PL/2011/0805/O


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.


Scheduled Item No. 6 Weeting, of Agenda No. 9 had been deferred prior to the meeting for amendments to be made to the report.


Local Development Framework (Standing Item)

To receive an update. 


The Planning Manager advised that the examination in public of the Thetford Area Action Plan took place on 6 and 7 March, 2012.  The Inspector’s Report was expected to be received end May 2012.


Deferred Applications pdf icon PDF 37 KB

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


Attleborough : Proposed Development, Hamilton Acorn Limited, Halford Road : Applicant : Hamilton Acorn Ltd : Reference : 3PL/2011/0489/O pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning.

Additional documents:


Independent expert advice had been sought from the District Valuer on the financial viability of the proposed development, along with clarification of sewerage capacity issues, following the application being deferred by the Planning Committee in August 2011.


Ms Lockwood, Agent, stated that the proposal was wholly in line with Core Strategy policies.  Attleborough had been identified as sustainable for growth.  Hamilton Acorn Ltd used to employ 160 people, and the employee traffic went principally through residential streets.  Infrastructure issues had been fully addressed with the Attleborough Community Team.  The report highlighted the benefits of the scheme.  Attleborough Town Council were very keen on transferring open space to them.  The proposal would make efficient use of the previously used land.  Although there would not be 40% affordable housing, it would pave the way for receipt of a new homes bonus.


Given the application was for outline planning permission a Councillor asked if a clause could be incorporated in that the social housing could be redefined when full planning permission was applied for, as market conditions could have changed.  She added that when Hamilton Acorn was a working factory, a lot of employees were bussed into the site, but the proposal would improve the currently untidy site.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) clarified that within the Section 106 agreement the site could be re-evaluated.  The proposal would be expected to provide 10% of the energy used to come from decentralised and renewable sources as required by Policy DC14 of the adopted Core Strategy DPD.


A Councillor drew attention to Network Rail’s comments.


RESOLVED that the application be deferred and the Officers be authorised to approve as recommended, subject to conditions, on completion of the legal agreement.


Schedule of Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications :


Item No



Page No


Ben Bailey Homes




W O & P O Jolly




H L Hutchinson Ltd




Petrell Ltd




Necton Garden Centre




Mr R Green





RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows :


(a)       Item 1 : Swaffham : Erection of 335 residential units together with assoc. access, car parking, open space & landscape provision : Applicant : Ben Bailey Homes : Reference : 3PL/2011/0868/F


Planning permission had been granted for residential development in July 2009, and the scheme had now come forward in the light of market conditions.  The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) advised that the mix of dwellings was not as set out in the published report, but would comprise of 86 x 2 bed houses (not 89), 156 x 3 bed houses (not 161) and 78 x 4 bed houses (not 70), with the remainder of the mix as detailed in the report.  The design of the scheme represented an improvement over the previous one.


The applicant had contended that due to current market conditions, the provision of 40% affordable housing, inline with Policy DC4 would render the scheme unviable.  A full viability appraisal had been submitted to substantiate the contention.  Independent advice had been sought from the District Valuer, who had confirmed that a policy compliant scheme with 40% affordable housing would not be viable.  The District Valuer had recommended that the applicant’s offer of 20% affordable housing provision was accepted on the basis of current viability.


Mr Armstrong, Agent advised that a lot of discussions had taken place with Swaffham Town Council who proposed to take on the management of all the open space on the site.  With regard to viability, the applicant was keen to build on the site, and would look to start Phase 1 of the work during 2012.  The housing mix was as detailed in the report.


A Councillor who sat on the Committee when permission was granted in 2009 for 400 dwellings noticed that Georgian type homes were not included in the current proposal, although he felt the site looked good and was needed. However he was disappointed that the affordable housing had been reduced from 40% to 20%.  There were 514 applicants on Swaffham’s Housing Register with over 1/3rd of those being single adults, 54 of which were aged over 60.


The Principal Planning Officer (Major Projects) explained that the mix of dwellings had been the subject of long discussions, and whilst Breckland’s Housing Team would prefer to see a greater number of smaller units, the applicant was not in a position to increase the number due to viability issues, therefore an element of compromise which was felt to be reasonable was necessary in trying to bring the development forward.  He explained the process followed with regard to the very detailed assessment carried out, and the developer had adjusted the scheme to reflect market conditions.


It was confirmed that if the Committee were minded to approve the application, Norfolk Landscape Archaeology’s recommendation remained the same as it did in 2007, that the application be subject to a condition for a programme of archaeological work.


Following a Councillor’s question as to whether there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Variation of Section 106 Agreement : Erection of 22 Dwellings, Garages and Access Road : Applicant : Bennett Homes : Reference : 3PL/2010/0033/F pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning.


The purpose of the recommendation was to broaden the scope of the Section 106 agreement.  In the current economic climate, developers were experiencing some difficulties in finding providers able to take the units due to financial constraints being experienced by them, and it was the opinion of the Authority that the options outlined in the report would result in a contribution being made in some form towards affordable housing within the Breckland district.


Following a Councillor’s comment that the application was the third to be heard by the Planning Committee that day with regard to viability issues, the Chairman explained it was the Authority’s ambition to achieve 40% affordable housing and that the three applications were coincidental.


A Councillor advised that Housing Associations were also suffering in the current climate and Breckland might have empty properties as the Housing Associations could not afford to buy them.  Due to that he asked if it would be practical if Attleborough could be consulted on with regard to what they would want to be done with the proposed financial contributions if no one bought the social housing.  The Solicitor explained that the financial contribution could only be used for that particular purpose, but it could be used for affordable housing in some other part of the district.


Approved, as recommended.


Appeal Decisions (For Information)

APP/F2605/A/11/2162899 : Land adjacent to 75 The Oaklands, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7EL.  Appeal against the refusal to grant outline planning permission for new dwelling : Reference : 3PL/2011/0785/0

Decision : Appeal Allowed


APP/F2605/A/11/2161758 : Holly Cottage, Chapel Street, Rockland St Peter, Attleborough, NR17 1UJ : Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for proposed change of use of existing office and new extension to create single dwelling plus the demolition and replacement of a double garage: Reference : 3PL/2011/0482/F

Decision : Appeal Allowed


APP/F2605/A/11/2163528 : Ascona, Redgrave Road, South Lopham, Diss, IP22 2HL : Appeal against the refusal to grant planning permission for the replacement of pre-fabricated dwelling and erection of new dwelling and garage : Reference : 3PL/2011/0774/F

Decision : Appeal Dismissed






Applications determined by the Director of Commissioning pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning


Members are requested to raise any questions at least two working days before the meeting to allow information to be provided to the Committee.