Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2013.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

2.

Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor W Richmond.  Councillor P Duigan was present as his Substitute.

 

3.

Declaration of Interest and of Representations Received (Agenda Item 3)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 

 

In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

In the interests of transparency under the Code of Conduct the following declarations were made:

 

Agenda Item 8a Deferred application (Watton) - Councillor Bowes declared that she was joint owner of property on the opposite side of the road from the site.  She made a statement as Ward Representative and left the room whilst the application was discussed.

 

Schedule Item 1 (Saham Toney) - Councillor Bowes declared that she knew the applicant.

 

Schedule Item 3 (Thetford) - Councillor Robinson declared that he lived close to the site and knew most of the objectors and the applicant.

Councillor Spencer declared that the application was in her Ward.

Councillor Armes declared that she lived on the same estate but a long way from the application site.

 

Schedule Item 5 (Litcham) - Councillor Carter declared that he lived in the village and knew the applicant.

 

4.

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.

Minutes:

Schedule Item 2 (Dereham) had been deferred for discussions about an alternative design and siting of the smoking shelter.

 

Schedule Item 4 (North Elmham) had been deferred for the viability assessment to be confirmed by the District Valuer.

5.

Local Development Framework (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 

Minutes:

The Director of Planning & Business Manager provided an update.

 

The Government had formally laid before parliament the fourth set of amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations.  It was anticipated that they would come into force at the end of January.  A key change was that self build properties would not be charged CIL. The Government’s definition of a self build property included dwellings commissioned by individuals. The Planning Policy Team was currently undertaking an assessment of the impact of the amended regulations on the money the Council could collect through CIL.

 

Croxton Parish Council had formally requested the designation of a neighbourhood plan area for the whole of their parish. The public consultation period would end at 4pm on 19 February, and a report into the plan area would be considered by Cabinet following that date.

 

The Planning Policy Team would be holding a Local Plan Visioning Session on 27 January between 2pm and 5:30pm in the Norfolk and Dereham Room. The aim of the session was to get Members’ opinions on housing, employment and environmental issues to go forward into the Local Plan. The session would take the form of a presentation followed by facilitated discussion groups.  It was hoped that as many Members as possible would attend. The discussions from the session would help to inform the Issues and Options document, which would be publically consulted upon in the spring.

 

The Session would give Members the opportunity to really engage with the planning policy making process at a crucial, formative stage and to help define a vision spatially of the shape of Breckland for the new Local Plan period spanning 2011 – 2031.  An ‘information pack’ and guide would be sent to Members before the Visioning Session.

 

6.

Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 39 KB

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

6a

WATTON: Thetford Road: Erection of 110 Dwellings with Associated Open Space: Applicant: Hopkins Homes: Reference: 3PL/2013/0510/F pdf icon PDF 718 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning.

Minutes:

Councillor Bowes declared that she jointly owned property on the opposite side of the road to the application site and would therefore not take part in the discussion.   She made a short statement as Ward Representative on behalf of concerned residents and urged Members to consider road safety.  The suggested roundabout had not been considered by the Developers but the land required for its development was owned by Norfolk County Council and therefore the cost would be reduced.  She asked Members to give priority to the safety of Watton residents.  She then left the room whilst the item was discussed.

 

The Officer gave a recap of the application which had been presented to Committee on 25 November 2013 and deferred for highway improvement discussions.  Members had requested the consideration of a right hand turn filter lane into the main site entrance; an emergency access; an extension of the 30mph speed limit; and a reduction in the number of private drives accessing the Thetford Road.  The Developers had provided an alternative scheme which met the first three requests, but did not reduce the number of accesses.

 

Councillor Wassell, Ward Representative was not able to attend the meeting.  His written statement was read out.  He acknowledged the offer of a right hand turn lane, but noted that with the provision of an emergency access there were now more accesses onto the Thetford Road.  He was concerned that the entrance to the south of the site would increase the potential for accidents.  The land was owned by Norfolk County Council and there should be a roundabout.   He referred to a recent fatal accident on the road just south of that corner. Finally he noted that the provision of a right hand turn lane meant a reduction in the number of affordable houses; that number had already been reduced once and he did not think it should be reduced again to provide a safer entry to the site.

 

The Officer advised that the implications of the financial cost of the revised scheme meant a reduction in the amount of affordable housing from 28 to 24 (25% to 21%).  It was up to Members which scheme they chose; both were acceptable to the Highways Authority and to Officers.

 

The Chairman noted that the fatal accident referred to had occurred away from the site and should have no bearing on the roundabout safety issue.

 

Councillor Rogers (representing Watton Town Council) had been involved in discussions about the development since 2008 when the previous owner had requested the land’s inclusion in the Local Development Framework (LDF) and had agreed to give six acres of land to the school for an alternative access from Thetford Road to avoid traffic using Merton Road.  The Town Council was in support of the application, subject to conditions.

 

Mr Denempont (Objector) had been involved in correspondence with the Town Council and the Planning Department and had also attended the public meeting at the Queens Hall to discuss the development.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a

7.

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:

 

Item No

Applicant

Parish

Page No

1

Clayland Estates Ltd

Saham Toney

13-21

2

Breckland Council

Dereham

22-25

3

Mr Stuart Neal

Thetford

26-30

4

Mr H S Thompson

North Elmham

31-35

5

Mr Richard Bailey

Litcham

36-42

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:

 

(a)       Item 1: SAHAM TONEY: Cley Lane: Erection of 29 new dwellings: Applicant: Clayland Estates Ltd: Reference: 3PL/2013/0869/F

 

Councillor Bowes declared that she knew the applicant.

 

This application included 40% affordable housing on a site outside the Settlement Boundary which satisfied all the Core Strategy requirements.  A footpath link would be provided across the site frontage.  The Archaeological  Unit had carried out groundworks and had no objection to the site’s development.  Power lines would be placed underground and the applicants had agreed to a two year time limit on any permission.  They would also supply a speed reactor sign.  Anglian Water had confirmed that there was sufficient drainage capacity.

 

Mr Bunce (Parish Council) objected to development outside the Boundary.  42% of villagers had raised concerns about over-development in the village appraisal carried out in 2008.  Cley Lane had a narrow bridge and presented a pedestrian hazard.  The nearest bus stop was half a mile away and there was no village shop so people would have to travel to Watton for services.  If approved the Parish Council requested additional conditions requiring a pedestrian walkway into Watton and a footbridge over the river.

 

Ms Stephan (for Applicants) advised that the Environment Agency had significantly upgraded the drainage in response to previous flooding concerns.  Rainwater would be harvested on-site.  700m of footway and speed reactive signage would be provided and they had offered to put the power lines on the adjacent recreation site underground as well, at their own expense.  They were a local firm with a workforce of 22 and two apprenticeships would be provided if the application was approved.  The legal agreement covering affordable housing and recreation and library contributions was ready to sign.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Sharpe it was confirmed that the Applicants were the landowners, developers and architects of the site.

 

Councillor Lamb was concerned about the invasion of the countryside and thought the application probably represented many times the allocated housing provision for the village.

 

The Officer felt that the site satisfied the NPPF requirement to have minimal impact.

 

Councillor Bowes commended the applicants on the design and variety of the proposed housing but was also concerned about the road between the bridge and the Golf Club which had poor visibility and restricted width.  She asked if a footbridge would be possible.

 

The Officer advised that it would not be viable or reasonable to expect such improvements for the size of development.

 

Deferred and the officers authorised to grant approval, subject to conditions, on completion of the section 106 agreement.

 

(b)       Item 2: DEREHAM: Breckland Business Centre, St Withburga Lane: Provision of Smoking Shelter: Applicant: Breckland Council: Reference: 3PL/2013/0921/F

 

Deferred from the Agenda.  See Minute No 4/14.

 

(c)        Item 3: THETFORD: 55 Hawthorn Walk: Erection of two and a half storey (four bedroom) dwelling: Applicant: Mr Stuart Neal: Reference: 3PL/2013/0981/F

 

Councillor Robinson declared that he lived very close to the site and knew the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Applications determined by the Director of Commissioning (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 43 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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted.

 

9.

Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 11)

APP/F2605/A/13/2203676: WEETING: Prospect Lodge, Fengate Drove: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for development of land without complying with a condition by Mr. R. Betts

Reference: 3PL/2012/1026/F

Decision: Appeal dismissed

Summary: The Inspector considered that to vary the condition to allow occupation of the mobile home by the appellant's daughter and her dependants would be tantamount to allowing a new dwelling in the countryside.  There is no essential need for the mobile home to become a permanent dwelling.

 

APP/F2605/A/13/2201259: NARBOROUGH: Beehive Fields, A47: Appeal against refusal of planning permission for the erection of a pig fattening unit by Mr. C. Durrance

Reference: 3PL/2013/0301/F

Decision:  Appeal dismissed

Summary: The Inspector considered that the building would have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the Brecks Landscape Character Area.

 

APP/F2605/C/13/2194302: ATTLEBOROUGH:  Land known as Fieldview, Leys Lane: Appeal against an enforcement notice: Breach of planning control: Material change of use of land from use for garden curtilage of the property known as Ten Oaks to use for stationing and occupation of a residential mobile home on the land by Mr. G. Hamer.

Reference: ENF/2012/0414/CAS

Decision:  Appeal A by Mr. Hamer succeeds and planning permission is granted for a material change of use of the land to a mixed use of the stationing and occupation of a residential mobile home and the use of a building for motor repairs, salvage and sales on land known as Fieldview, Leys Lane, Attleborough subject to conditions .

Summary:  The Inspector considered that the development is sustainable, it is not harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area and that dismissal of the appeals would have a disproportionate effect with regard to human rights

APP/F2605/C/13/2194304: ATTLEBOROUGH:  Land known as Fieldview, Leys Lane:

Decision: Appeal B by Mrs. Hamer is dismissed. 

Summary: The Inspector considered that a material change of use to a mixed use which includes the stationing of a mobile home has occurred and continuous use during the ten years prior to service of the enforcement notice has not been shown.

 

APP/F2605/A/13/220131: ATTLEBOROUGH: Fieldview, Leys Lane: Appeal against a refusal to grant planning permission for retention of a mobile home for residential purposes on part of lawful commercial site by Mr. G. Hamer and Mrs. M. Hamer

Reference: 3PL/2013/0209/F

Decision:  Appeal succeeds and planning permission is granted for a material change of use of the land to a mixed use for the stationing and occupation of a residential mobile home and the use of a building for motor repairs, salvage and sales on land known as Fieldview, Leys Lane subject to conditions.

Summary:  The Inspector considered that the development is sustainable, it is not harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area and that dismissal of the appeals would have a disproportionate effect with regard to human rights

 

APP/F2605/A/13/2195164 and APP/F/2605/A/13/2195207: OLD BUCKENHAM: Roughlands, Grove Road: Appeal against grants of planning permission subject to conditions  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Minutes:

Noted.

 

10.

Applications Determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Minutes:

Noted.

 

11.

Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Item 13)

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.

 

PART B – ITEM FROM WHICH THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC ARE EXCLUDED 

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

12.

Enforcement Update (Agenda Item 14)

Chris Curtis, Enforcement Team Leader, will update Members on Enforcement matters.

 

Minutes:

The Enforcement Team Leader gave Members an update on the work of the Enforcement Team.  They were currently concentrating on Unilateral Undertakings and S106 Agreements.  The existing process had not been fit for purpose and a new one had been designed.  A huge number of site visits had been carried out and he particularly commended the work of Sue Arnold, the Planning Enforcement Assistant.  The work would result in additional money coming in to the Council.

 

He gave figures for the number of agreements which were being monitored and the number of enforcement cases being dealt with.  There was a high workload and it was hard to manage.

 

Councillor Carter congratulated the team on their progress and said from his own experience they left ‘no stone unturned’.

 

Councillor Lamb supported the commendation but said the job was not just about collecting money.

 

Councillor Duigan asked if the Appeal system was still slow and the Enforcement Team Manager advised that the Planning Inspectorate were working hard to deal with the backlog.

 

The Planning Manager noted that they had carried out a recruitment drive the previous year.  He was looking forward to the implementation of the Ocella package for Enforcement which would give a certain amount of visibility on the status of complaints which he hoped would be available later in the year.

 

Councillor Sharpe asked if it would be more cost effective to increase the number of Enforcement Staff to deal with the large workload.

 

The Director of Planning & Business Manager said he would be delighted if the Council put more resources in to do that.

 

Councillor Claussen thought it was a valid point which should be discussed at the monthly meetings held with Capita.

 

The Planning Manager noted that the money collected from Unilateral and S106 agreements was not for staff resources.

 

The Chairman noted that sometimes it had been perceived that people did not have to comply with requirements because the Council did not follow them up.  He was pleased that the Enforcement Team Leader was getting the message out that the Council was taking a firmer hand.