Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

Items
No. Item

110.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 October 2014.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 27 October 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

111.

Apologies & Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

During the meeting apologies for absence were received from Councillor M Robinson.

 

112.

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:

Agenda Item 8a, Deferred Item (Colkirk) – all Members had received direct correspondence.

 

Agenda Item 9:

Schedule Item 1 (Lyng) – all Members had received direct correspondence.

Schedule Item 5 (Attleorough)  - for clarity Councillor North declared that she knew the Applicant’s son.

 

113.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)

Minutes:

The Chairman thanked Members for attending the coach tour which had been very successful.  He also thanked Mr and Mrs Cross for allowing Members to view their home, Mr and Mrs Abel for showing Members their site, Broom Hall Hotel for a lovely lunch; the coach driver for his skill in manoeuvring in tight spaces and the Officers for enabling the tour.

 

114.

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:

The Planning Manager advised that Agenda Item 9, Schedule Item 2 (Bridgham) had been deferred from the agenda as the consultation with the Secretary of State, required by the Environmental Impact Regulations, had not been carried out.  It was therefore premature to debate the matter.  It was likely that the item would be included on the 22 December 2014 agenda.

 

115.

Urgent Business (Agenda Item 6)

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.

Minutes:

None.

 

116.

Local Plan Update (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update. 

Minutes:

The Director of Planning & Business Manager provided the following update.

 

The Issues and Options Consultation had commenced and would run until 9 January.  Drop in sessions would be held in each of the District towns.  Approximately 50 people had attended the town and parish council meeting held on 17 November and the same number at the Dereham session held on 20 November.  Anyone interested was encouraged to attend one of the four remaining drop in sessions and to ensure they got their comments in before the 9 January deadline. The remaining sessions would be held at:

 

Swaffham Assembly Rooms 2pm – 6:30pm 24 November

Watton Queens Hall 2pm – 7pm 27 November

Attleborough Town Council 2pm – 6pm 4 December

Thetford Guildhall 2pm – 7pm 9 December

 

A call for sites for people to put forward additional land for consideration through the Local Plan was also being carried out.  There had been a very good response so far and everyone was reminded that this opportunity would also close on 9 January.

 

An Agent’s Forum would be held in the Anglia Room on 28 November, 2.15pm – 4pm, when amongst other matters the Issues and Options consultation and call for sites would be drawn to the attention of regular local planning agents.

 

A formal request from Kenninghall parish council to designate a neighbourhood plan area following the parish boundary had been received.  A six week consultation was being carried out and would close on 22 December.  The plan area would be considered by Cabinet on 13 January 2015.

 

The Retail Study has now been completed and would be considered by the Local Plan Working Group on 11 December, so that it could be used as part of the evidence base for the Local Plan and also as a material consideration for all retail planning applications. The new retail study included floorspace figures for each of the District towns up to 2036.

 

Councillor Claussen was aware that four parish councils had raised concerns about the Local Plan process, not directly linked to the Issues & Options document.  He asked if those concerns could be addressed at a Town & Parish Council Forum.

 

The Director of Planning & Business Manager agreed that there would be an opportunity to raise those concerns at the next Forum (date to be confirmed).

 

117.

Deferred Applications (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 41 KB

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

117a

COLKIRK: Site at Jarvis Drive: Proposed 5 No dwellings and related garages/parking: Reference: 3PL/2014/0885/O pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Executive Director Place.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

All Members had received direct representation on this matter.

 

The application had been deferred from the October meeting for clarification on the loss of trees, access arrangements and concerns about overdevelopment. 

 

The Senior Planner recapped the details of the proposal and showed Members additional photographs of Jarvis Drive and the access to the site.  The dimensions of Jarvis Drive were clarified and the area to be widened was pointed out on the photographs. 

 

An indicative site layout had been provided and the Agent had confirmed that a paved area would be provided beside the access from Jarvis Drive for refuse bins to be taken to, to save the refuse lorry from having to access the site. 

 

The majority of trees on the site would be retained with just two being removed. 

 

Future residents would be reliant on cars but would enhance and maintain existing amenities in the village.  The development would also contribute to the Council’s housing land supply.

 

Mrs Filby (Objector) said the photographs seen by Members had shown an empty road because existing properties on Jarvis Drive had large driveways.  The new dwellings had no provision for visitor parking.  She had brought photographs showing two vehicles passing each other on Jarvis Drive.  It was only just possible for two cars to pass and even when widened there would not be enough room for a lorry to pass a car.  If the refuse lorry could not enter the site neither could removal vans or fire engines.  An additional condition from Highways required all vegetation to be cut down to ground level up to 2.4metres back from the road, meaning the loss of the existing hedge which was valuable for wildlife.  Finally she pointed out that the ownership of the verge had not been decided by Land Registry.

 

Mr Starling (for Applicant) said the mix of housing would provide a natural infill and help to sustain the local school, public house and bus service.  The existing paddock was unused and had become neglected.

 

Mr Moulton (Agent) advised that an ecologist had revisited the site and deemed it to be of negligible value.  The two trees to be removed had structural defects.  The bin area had been provided to avoid the lorry having to access the site but access was possible for lorries, etc.  The proposal was below the density level for rural areas; would look similar to existing; and had been designed to avoid overlooking.  The Council had indicated it was willing to sell the land once legal issues were overcome.

 

Councillor North was concerned about the loss of the hedgerow but the Officer confirmed that only two trees would be lost.

 

Councillor Lamb did not agree with allowing development outside Settlement Boundaries in unsustainable locations. He felt the five year housing land supply deficit was being used to get houses anywhere.

 

Councillor Chapman-Allen was concerned about parking provision and thought that the widening of the road would not make a difference.  She asked where the objector had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 117a

117b

THETFORD: 27 Croxton Road: Variation of S106 on p/p 3PL/2012/0509/F - to remove the obligation to provide affordable housing: Reference: 3OB/2014/0009/OB pdf icon PDF 412 KB

Report of the Executive Director Place.

Minutes:

This application to vary the terms of the legal agreement had been considered by the Committee in October.  The details were recapped for Members.  The original proposal had been for seven houses of which two were to be affordable houses.  The build was almost complete, but due to viability issues the developer was requesting the removal of the requirement to provide two affordable houses.  Financial supporting information had been submitted to show that even without affordable housing the development would not provide the benchmark 20% return for the developer.

 

Government guidance encouraged Councils to be flexible to ensure that housing was released wherever possible.  

 

Although a number of the open market units were already sold the developer was currently not in a position to repay their borrowing and the units could be repossessed by the mortgage lender.  If that happened the lender was not bound by the legal agreement and could dispose of the affordable housing as open market units.  The applicants had made extensive efforts to sell the affordable housing without success.

 

The application had not been referred to the District Valuer as under the terms of the legislation the Council only had 28 days to make a decision.  However, the financial appraisal had been done by a professional and Officers had no reason to believe it was not correct.

 

Councillor Carter was very concerned that in his time on the Committee he had seen regular requests for reductions in contributions.  In this case the local area would get nothing from the development.

 

Councillor Chapman-Allen thought that as experienced developers they should have priced the build more accurately.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman the Principal Planning Officer advised that although it might cause delays to the enforcement of planning conditions if a development went into Receivership, when the matter was eventually resolved the general conditions would still apply.

 

Members discussed the figures provided and the possibility of reducing the time limit for completion or adding a claw-back clause.

 

Councillor Armes was extremely disappointed as the Committee had compromised by offering to accept one affordable unit.  Thetford needed affordable homes and the developer should recognise that.

 

The Chairman suggested an amendment to the recommendation, to vary the legal agreement to omit the requirement for affordable housing subject to completion within three years.  Councillor Duigan suggested a further amendment to reduce the time limit to 12 months.  The proposal was not supported.

 

Councillor Claussen said that Developers needed to realise that they had to give something.

 

RESOLVED to defer the application for renegotiation with the Developer to get some form of contribution.

 

118.

Schedule of Planning Applications (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider the Schedule of Planning Applications:

 

Item No

Applicant

Parish

Page No

1

Lakeside Lakes & Apartments

Lyng

27-36

2

Re:think Energy Limited

Bridgham

37-52

3

Mr I Thompson

Necton

53-60

4

Mr J M Wright

Holme Hale

61-68

5

Mrs Suzanne Large

Attleborough

69-74

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the applications be determined as follows:

 

a)         Item 1: LYNG: Lakeside Country Club, Quarry Lane: Revocation of part  consent 3/90/1720/F (16 units – 1 bed) and install 9 holiday lodges (static caravans) and works: Applicant: Lakeside Lakes & Apartments: Reference: 3PL/2014/0373/F

 

All Members had received direct correspondence on this item.

 

A previous scheme for 13 lodges had been refused and this revised application had reduced the density of development.  Officers considered that most of the concerns raised could be addressed by conditions.  An extant permission for 16 units could still be implemented and the new proposal was not expected to generate more traffic than that.  The applicant was happy to relinquish that permission if the current proposal was approved.

 

Concerns about the piecemeal development of the site and enforcement issues were also addressed.  The use of the holiday units as permanent dwellings had been investigated and could not be proven therefore no further enforcement action was proposed although the use would continue to be monitored.  An additional occupancy condition was proposed if Members were minded to approve the application.  A legal agreement would also be required to revoke part of the extant permission.

 

Mr Lambley (Parish Council) said the site was close to residential properties which shared the access road.  The Club was not a good neighbour.  The Bowls Club which used the facilities had been given notice to quit.  The need was not justified; the existing permission would have been implemented if there was a need.  It was common knowledge some units were used as permanent accommodation.  He urged Members not to approve the application without a clear plan for the future of the site and further enforcement action and suggested a site visit should be made.

 

Mr Booth (Objector) lived next to the site.  When he had bought his property the access track had been a metalled road with traffic calming, but the surface had been skimmed and the track was not well maintained.  Surface water flowed into gardens; debris was thrown up by passing traffic; dust was a problem in dry weather.  Acoustic fencing had been removed and the buffer zone did not work.  Residents suffered from anti social behaviour from Club visitors.  Before more development the road should be made up to a satisfactory standard.

 

Mr Futter (Agent) said the Club was very successful and offered various facilities including bowls, snooker and a swimming pool.  The complex had been inundated with enquiries from families requiring larger accommodation.  They were therefore seeking to replace the extant permission for one bed units with nine, two and three bed units.  Planning policy supported tourism and sustainable leisure development and the Club benefitted local businesses and the community.

 

Councillor Bambridge (Ward Representative) noted that the bowls complex should be a jewel in the crown, but it was not.  It was in a rural location close to the River Wensum, which had high protection status.  There were many unresolved matters and he asked Members to defer their decision and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

Applications determined by the Executive Director of Place (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place.

 

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

Minutes:

Noted.

 

120.

Applications determined by Norfolk County Council (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Minutes:

Noted.

 

121.

Appeal Decisions (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

Noted.