Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services 01362 656870
Minutes (Agenda Item 1)
Councillor Duigan noted that he had not been present as a Ward Representative. He had attended in his capacity as a Substitute Member to hear the Thetford SUE presentation, in case he was needed for the Special Planning Committee.
Subject to that amendment the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Councillor Robinson noted that in the eighth paragraph on page 63 it had been the mini-roundabout on Norwich Road that he had said was not fit for purpose.
Subject to that amendment, the Minutes of the Special meeting held on 4 April 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
The Chairman introduced Mr Chris Gordon who would be providing the Committee with legal advice.
Mr Gordon noted that apologies had been received from Councillors Spencer and Chapman-Allen and Councillors Duigan and Joel were present as their Substitutes.
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.
All Members had received direct representation regarding Schedule Item 3 (Billingford).
An e-mailed representation from an objector had been tabled for all Members regarding Schedule Items 1 and 2 (Thompson).
Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7)
To receive an update.
The Director of Planning & Business Manager gave Members the update.
The Planning Policy Team continued to progress the Issues and Options document for the Local Plan intended for consultation in the autumn. Several pieces of new evidence were currently being worked upon which would inform the document, including a strategic housing market assessment, a strategic housing land availability assessment and a retail assessment.
The impact of the recent amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations on the amount of money the district could raise was being assessed. The money would be used to fund infrastructure provision. The key change to the regulations related to the exemption from CIL of self-build dwellings. The Government had defined self build dwellings as those which were either built or commissioned by individuals as their main residence. A full report on the amendments would be presented to the Cabinet meeting on 13 May.
A request to designate a joint neighbourhood plan area for the parishes of Croxton, Brettenham and Kilverstone had been received. The proposed neighbourhood plan boundary would cover the whole of those parishes and included the majority of the land designated for the Thetford Sustainable Urban Extension. A consultation on the boundary was currently being carried out and would run until 4pm on 21 May. It was currently anticipated that a report on the outcomes of the consultation would be presented to Cabinet on 1 July.
The parish councils had stated that their aims for the neighbourhood plan were:
On 6 March 2014 the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) launched its planning practice guidance web-based resource. The website brought together all planning practice guidance into a single site. Importantly the guidance would be reviewed and up-dated regularly. Members were encouraged to view the site at: http://planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk/blog/guidance/
Councillor Duigan asked about the self-build definition. He was concerned that a developer might apply for outline permission for a large number of dwellings and then offer to build them on behalf of individuals, thereby circumventing the requirement to pay CIL. The Director of Planning & Business Manager acknowledged that that was something to be considered. All of the implications were being looked at.
Councillor Claussen noted that he had seen a press article about the Brecks receiving National Park status. He thought that might lead to a better understanding of the Stone Curlew issues and asked that the Planning Policy Team be involved in the process.
The Director of Planning & Business Manager agreed that National Park status could cause a dramatic impact on planning in the District. With regard to the Stone Curlew he thought that Breckland had been at the forefront in commissioning ecology studies to understand their behaviour, but had now reached a point of diminishing returns and ... view the full minutes text for item 40.
To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:
(a) Item 1: THOMPSON: 1 Redbrick Farm Barns, Marlpit Road: Install metal flue on rear elevation, new parking area, removal of gates and erection of new (part retrospective): Applicant: Miss S Kelly: Reference: 3PL/2013/0937/F
A recently received, e-mailed objection from the neighbour was tabled for Members’ information.
Items 1 and 2 were covered by one presentation which also corrected the agenda report in relation to site planning history.
The property was a large two storey, Listed barn which had been converted into two semi-detached dwellings. Permitted development rights had been restricted, which was why both planning permission and Listed Building consent were required.
As the Council’s Historic Buildings Officer knew the applicant an independent consultant had been employed to give advice on the applications. They had raised no objection.
Correspondence received from the neighbour, Mr Yerby, had been circulated as he was unable to attend. He objected to the retrospective applications on the following grounds: The flue was too tall and should be painted black; the paving was of inappropriate material for a Listed Building and should be gravel; the gates had a detrimental impact on amenity due to the standing of vehicles waiting for access which caused noise, fumes and loss of privacy. There was also increased danger to health and safety from cars reversing out onto the road.
It was noted that the objector had consent to erect a wall and gates across the entrance.
Ms Kelly (Applicant) apologised for the retrospective nature of the application. She had objected to her neighbour’s application as it would cause delay to her and her visitors when accessing and leaving the property. At that time he had not considered that vehicles pausing outside his property would be a problem. She advised that the fence and gates had been in place when the neighbour had purchased their property. The gates were necessary for security but were only shut occasionally.
Councillor Bowes thought that the Listed Building status had not protected much because the original farmhouse had been demolished.
It was clarified that the flue was for a woodburner and the Applicant had been advised that the additional height was necessary for it to work properly.
Councillor North thought that a barn conversion should retain an open appearance. The gates should be removed. However, the other two elements of the application were acceptable.
It was pointed out that the application would be refused if any part of the development proposed was not approved.
Councillor Claussen suggested that if security was required posts and beams could be used and might be more acceptable.
The plans of the neighbour’s approved gates and wall were shown. Members felt that the style of those gates was more appropriate to the rural setting.
The recommendation for approval was not supported although Members made clear that they did not object to the flue or the pavers.
Refused, contrary to the recommendation, on grounds of the fencing and gates having ... view the full minutes text for item 41.
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.
Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Item 12)
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
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.
Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 11)
APP/F2605/C/13/2204102: ATTLEBOROUGH: Land and buildings at former Saw Mills, Leys Lane: Appeal by Mr. James Becker against an enforcement notice which alleges that Condition No. 3 of planning permission 3PL/2004/1037/F, which states that the premises shall be used solely for furniture storage in connection with the existing business on site, has not been complied with in that the warehouses have been split into units and occupied independently:
Decision: The enforcement notice is quashed.
Summary: The Inspector concluded that the enforcement notice does not specify with sufficient clarity the steps required for compliance.
Councillor Sharpe asked why the Notice had been quashed and was advised that it appeared to have been a difference of views between the drafting Solicitors and the Planning Inspector who was also a Solicitor. However, the Inspector’s views had been taken on-board.
The Enforcement Notice was being re-drafted and would be re-served on every person on the site when it had been signed by the Planning Manager.
Enforcement Update (Agenda Item 13)
The Enforcement Team Leader will update Members on Enforcement matters. Members are requested to raise any questions at least two working days before the meeting to allow information to be provided to the Committee.
The Enforcement Team Leader gave a short update.
The software upgrade was being trialled and appeared to be very good. It was already saving time, but it had limited capabilities at the moment, which the Officers and the software provider were working on improving.
With regard to S106 legal agreements and Unilateral Undertakings the Team were very close to having the right monitoring system in place. Sue Arnold was now responsible for that work. She had a caseload of 95 live legal agreements and 106 live Unilateral Undertakings with 25 more being drafted.
The Enforcement Team Leader and Debbie Wragg were working on the Enforcement cases. Last year there had been 431 and there were exactly the same number of new cases in the first three months of 2014 that there had been in 2013. The summertime was usually the busiest time for enforcement.
Following a robust review and risk management exercise the number of live cases had been reduced to 96 for the Team Leader and 62 for Debbie Wragg (as she worked part time).
Following a question from Councillor Lamb the monitoring of legal agreements was explained. There were usually trigger points within the agreement when monies became due and those trigger points were monitored. With regard to Unilateral Undertakings the contribution was due as soon as development commenced.
Councillor Claussen noted that the Thetford SUE application would generate large volumes of money through its legal agreement and part of the approval had been to provide a separate structure to monitor its progress. He asked that the Committee be kept informed about that.
The Enforcement Team Leader said that there might be some money for an extra member of staff. He would prefer to have a dedicated officer to deal with the Thetford SUE alone, but it would be up to Capita and Breckland Council to agree to that.
Councillor Bowes had e-mailed two questions to the Planning Manager and asked if there was any progress on those. One concerned a Listed Building at risk. It was suggested that the first point of contact for that should be the Historic Buildings Officer and the Director of Planning & Business Manager agreed to speak to him immediately following the meeting.
The Chairman thanked the Enforcement Team Leader for his update.