Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
Contact: Committee Services 01362 656870
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 14 April 2014.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 April 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Chapman-Allen and Lamb. Councillor Duigan was present as Substitute for Councillor Chapman-Allen.
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 for Agenda Item 8a (Deferred Item) – Billingford and Schedule Item 6 – Ickburgh.
Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)
The Chairman reminded Members that a bus tour had been organised to visit sites in the north of the District which had received planning permission from the Committee and were now developed. The tour would commence at 10.00am on Friday 23 May and was expected to finish by 3.00pm.
Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7)
To receive an update.
The Director of Planning & Business Manager advised Members that the first consultation on the Local Plan would take place in the autumn. The team were currently undertaking new evidence base studies which would support the Local Plan including a new Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment, which would look at the potential of land across Breckland for housing development. A new open space assessment, which would consider the quality and quantity of open space within Breckland, was also being prepared. The previous open space assessment had helped to inform the standards for open space requirements on planning applications within the Core Strategy.
The site visits for the housing, employment, retail and tourism monitoring had just been completed and the team were currently collating the results. There had been 425 new dwellings completed in Breckland in the last year. That was the highest level of housing completions in a single year within Breckland since 2009/10. Whilst it was still significantly short on the District’s yearly housing target; the former Regional Spatial Strategy target was 780 dwellings per annum, a number of the schemes which had been through the planning committee in the last couple of years were now being completed. The information would inform an updated five year land supply statement.
There had been no new requests from parishes to be designated for a neighbourhood plan. However, there was an ongoing consultation on the designation of a neighbourhood plan area for Croxton, Brettenham and Kilverstone. The plan area would include the majority of the Thetford SUE land. The consultation would close on 21 May and it would be considered by the Council’s Cabinet on 1 July.
To consider applications deferred at previous meetings including some, but not all, of those shown on the attached Schedule of Deferred Applications.
To consider the application deferred from the previous meeting for a Site Visit.
All Members had received direct representation.
There had been a lengthy debate at the April Committee before Members had decided to defer the application for a site visit. The site visit had taken place on Friday 9 May.
The Officer gave a brief recap of the details of the proposal and showed maps, photographs, plans and elevations detailing the different parts of the application and showing views into the site from surrounding roads.
The history of the agricultural building which was proposed for conversion to the visitor centre was clarified. An Agricultural Notification application for the building had been received in 2011 and No Prior Approval had been agreed. However, the building had been extended during construction and therefore the entire building did not benefit from any permission. It was subject to Enforcement action and a Hearing was scheduled for 3 June 2014, seeking removal of the building.
The site visit had been arranged to allow Members to assess the impact of the proposals and to determine if they were acceptable or not and whether further mitigation was needed.
At the previous meeting there had been various references to the behaviour of the Applicant and Members were advised that the proposals should be determined on their own merits. The retrospective nature of certain aspects were not a material issue.
If Members were minded to approve the proposals it was suggested that a site survey should be provided by the applicant, including plans and photographs, to give an accurate record of the current status of the site and allow for future monitoring.
Mr Davies (Billingford Parish Council) summarised events on the site. In 2010 a new road had been built and a septic tank installed. The larger building had been erected in 2012. Open access to the site had been obstructed for many years and recreational use by the public had been prevented from 2010 despite the fact that a Right of Way across the site had been added to the County Council Register and confirmed by a Public Inspector.
Mr Wood (Hoe & Worthing Parish Council) asked that all their previous objections still be considered. He was concerned that a large recreation area had been created abutting the River Wensum and the land mechanically transformed to create an inland beach and barbeque area and advertised for use at £10 per car. Recreation needs were already met in the area and the proposals would not be viable or contribute to local viability. It would set a precedent for development in river valleys.
Mr Atterwill (Swanton Morley Parish Council) said the application stated that no motorised recreational vehicles would be used on site but that was already happening. He had video clips of 4x4 trucks using the site for off-road recreation and other such events were scheduled in June. He also had a flyer advertising hovercrafting. There had been vast earth works carried out and large areas were devoid of vegetation. Vehicle movements would increase and noise disturbance and pollution would affect ... view the full minutes text for item 51a
OLD BUCKENHAM: Roughlands, Grove Road: Erection of livestock buildings and associated feed silos. Alterations to access and provision of passing bay. References: 3PL/2014/0150/F and 3PL/2014/0151/F (Agenda Item 9 - Schedule Items 4 & 5) PDF 76 KB
Report of the Director of Commissioning.
This application proposed the removal of a group of buildings and the erection of two, large, identical buildings for 500 pigs each, in their place.
A Site Management Plan had been provided and it was considered that there would be no harm to local amenity subject to a list of conditions to address the issues raised.
Mr Ing (Old Buckenham Parish Council) had concerns about environmental impact. There had been a modest pig farm on the site 15 years ago and there had been pollution problems as the land sloped towards the stream. Rain could cause the muck heap and surface water to overflow. The river had taken 10 years to get back to health. He was also concerned about 40 tonne lorries accessing the site.
Mr Chryssaphes (Objector) said that of almost 40 objections none was against farming, but the proposed methods were not sympathetic to the quality of life of neighbours. The large scale development would cause impact through smell, flies and contamination. Such an enterprise should be far from domestic dwellings and away from ecological sites.
Mr Pick (Agent) noted that the site was an existing pig unit although there was no stock at present. It could however be brought back into production without planning permission. The proposal would produce high welfare British pork for Waitrose. Historically there had been problems with the pig industry but the design of buildings had been changed to overcome the problems with smell, flies etc. The straw base would be removed daily and taken off-site weekly. That broke the fly cycle and there was no odour problem. The Waitrose contract was highly regulated and meant they could not be bad neighbours or cause pollution. Tanks would be inspected six monthly. There would only be one or two vehicle movements a week and improvements had been agreed to provide safer access.
Councillor Joel (Ward Representative) opposed the application. The previous pig unit had only been an annex to the main farm and had not been used for 15 years. The site was not big enough for intensive farming. One third of the village was opposed to the application. He showed photographs of the narrow lanes in the vicinity, many single track with only limited passing places and not big enough for the vehicles using them. They were quiet lanes used by walkers and horse riders. Finally he referred to the smell from pigs and said the proposal was not right for the edge of the village.
The Chairman advised Members that the Council’s Environmental Health Officer (EHO) was in attendance to answer any questions.
Councillor Sharpe asked the distance from the site to the nearest dwellings and was advised that it was about 200/250metres.
Councillor Bowes asked the Agent how effluent would be prevented from entering the watercourse.
Mr Pick explained that it was an entirely sealed system with a ring main around the site.
Councillor Richmond asked how many pigs had been on the site previously and was advised that there ... view the full minutes text for item 52.
To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:
(a) Item 1: QUIDENHAM: Land at Station Road, Eccles: Residential development: Applicant: Mr & Mrs Tye: Reference: 3PL/2013/1123/O
This outline application for 24 dwellings would provide 40% affordable housing on an infill site between two settlement areas. An indicative layout plan and street scenes had been provided. The proposal had received no statutory objections and was strongly supported by the Parish Council. Due to the lack of sustainable access to medical and retail facilities it was recommended for refusal.
Mr Lotarius (Quidenham Parish Council) backed the proposal wholeheartedly. It would provide a mix of housing types and would knit the two parts of the village together providing community cohesion whilst maintaining a rural feel. The train station was a major factor, providing access to medical facilities two miles away at Kenninghall. There was also a range of shops within three miles. A key issue was the strategic relationship with the Snetterton Heath employment area which was only 400 yards away by footway and fulfilled the economic sustainability criteria.
Mr Futter (Agent) thought that the recommendation flew in the face of the NPPF and Localism. The site was close to the A11 strategic corridor and other facilities. It was immediately adjacent the Settlement Boundary. The Council had a housing land shortfall and the application would provide 40% affordable housing. Guidance stated that thriving communities depended on retaining facilities and rural housing was essential for that. The benefits could not be overstated.
Councillor Claussen asked if 40% was viable and it was confirmed that it was.
Councillor Bowes asked that if the application was approved the Detailed stage should come to Committee.
Councillor Robinson noted that the reference to access to services was interesting. He lived in a town and had to travel two miles to access a post office and he used his car to do so. Villages supported each other. He asked what other initiatives the proposal would support and how many dwellings were in the village.
Mr Lotarius advised that there were approximately 140 dwellings in the village. The additional development would provide support for the three churches, village hall and public house in the village and give confidence for the future.
Approved, contrary to the recommendation, as the development was immediately adjacent to the Settlement Boundary, related well to the existing settlement form and reflected the character of the settlement.
(c) Item 2: BRIDGHAM: Land adjacent to Hall Farm Barn, The Street: Erection of 2 cottages (revised design): Applicant: Mr J Wright: Reference: 3PL/2014/0103
This was a revised application which was virtually the same as the one refused by the Committee in 2013. The scale had been slightly reduced. No archaeological trial trenching had been carried out.
Mr Scarlett (Agent) noted that the Council’s policies did not say that all housing outside Settlement Boundaries should be refused. The NPPF advised against isolated housing in the countryside, but the site was not isolated ... view the full minutes text for item 53.
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.
Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 12)
APP/F2605/A/13/2196437: DEREHAM: Westfield House, 12 Westfield Road: Appeal by Black Swan International Limited against the refusal of planning permission for extensions and alterations
Decision: Appeal allowed and planning permission granted subject to conditions in respect of materials, landscaping, parking, bin storage, contamination, parking area for emergency vehicles, improvements to access
Summary: The Inspector concluded that the proposed extensions and alterations would not detrimentally affect the safety and convenience of users of the adjacent highway subject to conditions to protect amenity, the appearance of the site and in the interests of highway safety.
Costs application in relation to above: DEREHAM: Westfield House, 12 Westfield Road: Application for partial or full award of costs by Black Swan International Limited
Decision: Application refused
Summary: The application was made on the basis that the Council failed to substantiate its reason for refusal and cycle parking could have been dealt with by condition. The Inspector concluded that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense has not been demonstrated.
APP/F/2605/A/13/2209507: RIDDLESWORTH: Home Farm, Thetford Road: Appeal by Mr. John Chandler against the refusal of planning permission for change of use to be used by Iceni Autos, vehicle repair and restore
Decision: Appeal allowed and planning permission granted for change of use to be used by Iceni Autos vehicle repair and restore subject to conditions in respect of hours of operation, use limited to single building identified and no power tools or machinery outside the building
Summary: The Inspector concluded that the scheme would not have a harmful effect on the safety or efficiency of the highway network having regard to past agricultural use and the scale of business
APP/F2605/A/14/2212478: MATTISHALL: The Manse, Mill Road:
Appeal by Mr. & Mrs. A. Thornton against the refusal of planning permission for the erection of a detached one and a half storey dwelling
Decision: Appeal dismissed
Summary: The Inspector concluded that the proposal would adversely affect the character and appearance of the site and surrounding area by virtue of its awkward relationship to dwellings either side, layout at odds with character of the area and impact on landscaped setting